Bob Dylan To Be Honored At MusiCares Person Of The Year Event

first_imgBob Dylan will be honored as the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015.Proceeds from the 25th annual benefit gala dinner and concert — to be held in Los Angeles during GRAMMY Week two nights prior to the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards — will provide essential support for MusiCares. The event will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in the West Hall. Check-in will open at 5 p.m. as well as a cocktail reception and silent auction. Dinner will follow at 8 p.m. and the concert will begin at 9 p.m.Performers at the tribute concert include GRAMMY winners Beck; Crosby, Stills and Nash; Norah Jones; Tom Jones; Los Lobos; John Mellencamp; Alanis Morissette; Willie Nelson; Aaron Neville; Bonnie Raitt; Bruce Springsteen; Susan Tedeschi; Derek Trucks; Eddie Vedder; Jack White; and Neil Young; as well as singer/songwriter Jackson Browne and singer/songwriter John Doe.Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter will present the award to Bob Dylan. Three-time GRAMMY-winning producer and recent Emmy winner Don Was will be the evening’s musical director.The 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year gala will begin with a reception and silent auction offering an exclusive and unparalleled selection of luxury items, VIP experiences and one-of-a-kind celebrity memorabilia for bidding guests. The reception and silent auction will be followed by a dinner, the award presentation and a tribute concert by renowned musicians. The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week.To see the silent auction, click here.last_img read more

Elton John AIDS Foundation Will Introduce New Film The Promise At Academy

first_imgAt the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF)’s 25th annual Academy Awards Viewing Party to be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at West Hollywood Park, Sir Elton John and David Furnish will introduce Open Road and Survival Pictures new film – The Promise – which tells the story of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey at the outset of World War I.Written by Terry George and Robin Swicord and directed by Terry George (Hotel Rwanda), The Promise stars Oscar Issac, Christian Bale, and Charlotte Le Bon.“We have only to look at the horrific HIV/AIDS outbreak that followed in the wake of the Rwandan genocide in the mid-1990s to understand the direct connection between human rights atrocities and public health crises like the AIDS epidemic,” said EJAF Founder Elton John. “Through our friendships with the Manoukian family and producer Dr. Eric Esrailian from UCLA, David and I became more personally aware of the Armenian Genocide and its timely relevance to social issues today. The film’s theme #KeepThePromise can be interpreted as keeping the promise to remember and learn from the atrocities of the past, as well as keeping the promise to end AIDS. At EJAF, we are committed to #KeepThePromise and raise awareness about this powerful film that uses classic storytelling to inspire people to take action today. We are honored to share the important timing of our Oscar-night event to introduce people to The Promise.”In addition to sharing EJAF’s vision for championing human rights, The Promise team at Survival Pictures has taken the unprecedented step of making the commitment to donate all proceeds from the film to nonprofit organizations including EJAF and other human rights and humanitarian groups. As part of this commitment and to inspire Party guests to give generously, Survival Pictures will match the pledges guests make to EJAF via text and live auction purchases made during EJAF’s Academy Awards Viewing Party with the goal of making this a record-setting evening.“Such giving has never happened with a film of this scale, we wanted the world to know about it, and we are incredibly grateful,” said EJAF Chairman David Furnish. “We are honored to announce this generosity, thanks to the late philanthropist and humanitarian Kirk Kerkorian, on the eve of EJAF’s 25th annual Academy Awards Viewing Party. Not only is The Promise committing to support EJAF’s work, but matching funds will be provided to inspire donors even more throughout the event and live auction.”Survival Pictures has also developed a social impact campaign for The Promise to help educate the global public about the genocides and mass atrocities of the 20th and 21st centuries, the discussion about the legal definition of genocide, and historical denialism. The impact campaign will inform and inspire people to take action so they become part of the anti-genocide movement led by human rights organizations like EJAF as well as change-makers dedicated to ending crimes against humanity and bringing perpetrators to justice.The film sets a love story in the midst of the growing unrest in 1914 Turkey leading up to the horrors of the Armenian Genocide. As the Great War looms, the mighty Ottoman Empire is crumbling. Constantinople, the once vibrant, multicultural capital on the shores of the Bosporus, is about to be consumed by chaos. Michael Boghosian (Oscar Isaac), arrives in the cosmopolitan hub as a medical student determined to bring modern medicine back to Siroun, his ancestral village in Southern Turkey where Turkish Muslims and Armenian Christians have lived side by side for centuries. Photo-journalist Chris Myers (Christian Bale), has come here only partly to cover geo-politics. He is mesmerized by his love for Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), an Armenian artist he has accompanied from Paris after the sudden death of her father. When Michael meets Ana, their shared Armenian heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between the two men. As the Turks form an alliance with Germany and the Empire turns violently against its own ethnic minorities, their conflicting passions must be deferred while they join forces to survive even as events threaten to overwhelm them. Promises are made and promises are broken. The one promise that must be kept is to live on and tell the story.“The Armenian Genocide must, of course, never be forgotten and should be recognized, but our current headlines show that the same patterns of human rights violations are being replicated in too many parts of the world today,” said producer Dr. Eric Esrailian. “We are honored to have the support of Elton, David, and the entire EJAF family, and by joining forces, we can help the people in the world who need assistance right now.”last_img read more

Bruce Willis To Perform At A Great Night In Harlem Gala Concert

first_imgThe Jazz Foundation of America’s 16th annual A Great Night In Harlem Gala Concert will take place at the Apollo Theatre in New York on April 20.The event will honor Roberta Flack, and will feature performances by stars such as Bruce Willis, Danny Glover and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes.JFA’s Musicians’ Emergency Fund provides housing assistance, pro bono medical care, disaster relief, and financial support to musicians and their families in times of crisis.Through Jazz and Blues in the Schools and other performance programs, JFA creates purpose and dignified work that bring live music to thousands of public school kids without music programs.JFA now assists in 9,000 cases a year, nationwide, including families still reeling from the devastation of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.For more information, click here.last_img read more

ACTRA Toronto call upon the government of the people to stand up

first_imgACTRA Toronto calls upon the government of the people to stand up for Canada and Canadian performers Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Twitterlast_img

How do you survive as an indie filmmaker We heard it from

first_img Facebook At NYFF 2016, a panel of accomplished independent filmmakers came together to share both personal challenges and keys to survival. It was a great mix: director Roger Ross Williams (Life Animated), cinematographer Ellen Kuras (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), director Ira Sachs (Little Men), and actor-turned-director Rose McGowan (Dawn). Each one of these artists is fiercely independent; each one of them has had to fight hard to survive. All value their own original voice far more than money or fame.So how do they survive in the indie world? A mix of difficulties overcome—part harrowing, part exhilarating—and wisdom gained. By the end of the panel, one thing was clear: none of these artists would trade creative freedom for the studio system, and all of them had advice for aspiring filmmakers. Below are the high points of their advice.Roger Ross Williams: “Be passionate”When asked what keeps him moving forward, Roger Ross Williams was insistent: “For me, it has to be a story that is so deeply personal, and so painful to make, that you have to do it. That’s what will carry you through the long journey as a filmmaker..” Advertisement Advertisement Take it from a man whose passion has gotten him far. Williams was not only the first African-American to win an Academy Award for a documentary short (Music by Prudence, 2010), but also the first African-American director to win for producing a film, short, or feature. He has since directed two independent feature-length documentaries, God Loves Uganda (2013) and Life, Animated (2016), both of which were nominated for and won numerous awards on the festival circuit.Williams started off in mainstream media as a journalist and producer for TV Nation, ABC News, NBC News, CNN, PBS, Comedy Central, and the Sundance Channel. He was miserable. “I like to say I’m a recovering journalist because I hated it,” he said. “I was frustrated working for the man.”He recalled covering the Sundance Film Festival in the late ‘90s and interviewing all the filmmakers in competition: Neil LaBute for In The Company of Men (1997) and Darren Aronofsky for Pi (1998), among others. This was a turning point. Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

Kara Alloway Torontos most loved and hated Housewife

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Advertisement OK, the show. Ever since the local spinoff of the monster-Housewives franchise began its woozy run on the Slice channel in March, one thing has been made abundantly clear: without Kara, would there even be a show? Let’s be real. The centre of much of the YYZ hoo-ha — some might call her a villainess — she’s been Topic A, B and C. So much so that when the rest of the ladies are not talking about Kara, they’re talking about not talking about Kara.Joan, Jana, Roxy, Gregorianne and Ann. They sotto voce about Kara. They game-theory about Kara. They even bond through Kara — there being nothing like a common foe to bring womankind together, after all. Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Kara Alloway is planning a family trip to Machu Picchu this summer.Having held down the maiden season of The Real Housewives of Toronto — complete with its share of spats, squabbles and psychological warfare — how hard can it be? Compared to the show, the old Inca Trail sounds like a cake-walk.“I’ve always wanted to go,” the tele-socialite says over a meet recently at Soho House. Twitterlast_img read more

NEXT STOP FOR MONTREAL COMEDIAN AND PROVOCATEUR SUGAR SAMMY IS AMERICA

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Montreal-born Sugar Sammy (Samir Khullar), one of Canada’s most popular comics, has performed all over the world and lives part-time in France. (BILL O’LEARY / THE WASHINGTON POST) Advertisement He thinks aloud — victim? suffer? — then resorts to his iPhone before it finally comes to him: “Subjected!”“I have observed, I’ve listened and I have been subjected to you for the last two years,” he continues. “So that creates something that’s not going to go unnoticed.” Facebookcenter_img Comedian Sugar Sammy is trying to describe how he can move to a new country and figure out enough of the local quirks to poke fun at them.“The French will say, ‘How do you know us so well?’” he says in an interview in Washington, D.C. “I’m like, ‘Because I’ve watched you, I have listened to you. I’ve been, I’ve been …” and he pauses.The Montreal-born comedian performs in four languages and currently he cannot summon the English word for what he wants to express. “That’s the only drawback of being bilingual: Sometimes you’ve got to look for the word if it comes to you in French first.” Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

Manitoba FN community mourning after youth killed in crash

first_imgBy Meagan Fiddler and Tiar Wilson APTN National News WINNIPEG–A Northern First Nation Manitoba community is reeling after a horrific crash near The Pas, Man., killed at least five people early Friday morning.RCMP are still trying to identify the deceased, but it’s believed that at least four of the victims were between 18 and 23 years of age.The wife of well-known Manitoba musician Errol Ranville is also believed to have died in the crash. Ranville is reportedly the only survivor and was flown to hospital in Winnipeg where he is believed to be in serious condition.Four of the victims were in one of the cars involved in the 4:30 a.m. head-on collision. Police said a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier and a 2007 Jeep Wrangler crashed and one vehicle burst into flames on Hwy. 10, about three kilometres south of The Pas.“There is a significant amount of fire damage. At this point we can’t ascertain the identities of the four people in the Cavalier,” said RCMP Const. Miles Hiebert.Many of the victims are from or connected to Opaskwayak Cree Nation, a small community near The Pas where everyone knows everyone, said Chief Mike Constant.“I think the community has woken up to a tragedy that no parent or no community wants to hear,” said Constant. “It’s tough to not only lose a loved one but a young person in your community. It’s tougher to absorb or sort of comprehend the nature of the tragedy, but those kind of elements are out of our control. It’s in the creator’s hands.”The community’s school is closed and crisis workers have been called.Back in Winnipeg, Ranville’s friends in the music industry where also finding it tough to digest the news.Ranville fronts the C-Weed band and he had performed in APTN’s studios this past June.“I admire the way that he could write and sing. My thoughts and prayers are with Errol that he can pull through,” said Ray St. Germain.last_img read more

Discussion about the upcoming fight between Brazeau and Trudeau

first_imgAPTN National NewsTerry Marcotte knows all about stepping in the ring to fight for a cure.He competed a few years ago.Marcotte joined APTN National News anchor Michael Hutchinson to discuss the upcoming fight between Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau and Liberal MP Justin Trudeau.last_img

John Levi warrior chief speaks to APTN about antifracking protest

first_imgAPTN National NewsHe says he’s a warrior chief defending the land from environmental destruction.John Levi leads a group from Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick who are fighting against a fracking company looking for shale gas.The battle may be unwinnable, but Levi isn’t giving up.APTN’s Ossie Michelin has the story.last_img

RCMP apologizes for Idle No More bacteria comparison

first_imgJorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe RCMP is apologizing for a comparison likening the Idle No More movement to “bacteria” which was made by an Aboriginal liaison officer in an internal report.RCMP spokesperson Staff-Sgt. Julie Gagnon said the comparison “is not reflective of the views and opinions of the organization.”The bacteria comparison was made in internal site report by RCMP Cpl. Wayne Russett, Aboriginal liaison for the national capital region.The report was part of a series of updates by Russett of the goings-on inside Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s camp on Victoria Island which was set up during her liquids-only fast during the height of the Idle No More movement.The RCMP issued a statement distancing the federal police force from the comparison.“It is unfortunate that one of our employees has referred in an internal email to the Idle No More movement in such a manner,” said Gagnon, in the statement, sent to APTN National News. “The RCMP apologizes to anyone who may have been offended by this unfortunate choice of words to describe the Idle No More movement.”While Russett’s site report primarily provided close to real-time details of the evolving situation inside Spence’s camp, it also included a discussion of the Idle No More movement.“This Idle No More movement is like bacteria, it has grown a life of its own all across this nation,” wrote Russett, in the Dec.24, 2012, document. “It may be advisable for all to have contingency plans in place, as this is one issue that is not going to go away.”The report also struck an ominous tone.“There is a high probability that we could see flash mobs, round dances and blockades become much less compliant to laws in an attempt to get their point across,” said the site report. “The escalation of violence is ever near.”The document was titled, “Chief Spense’s Hunger Strike and the Idle No More Movement (sic)” and classified “for law enforcement only.”NDP’s Aboriginal affairs critic Niki Ashton demanded during question period Friday that Public Safety Minister Stephen Blaney apologize for the bacteria comparison.Ashton’s question was fielded by Conservative MP Roxanne James, the parliamentary secretary for Public Safety. James said she found Ashton’s question “abhorrent” and refused to issue any apology.APTN obtained the site report under the Access to Information Act.APTN filed the request under the Act in April 2013 and only recently received the documents.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

The Metis vote InFocus

first_imgaptn InFocus with Cheryl McKenzie Metis Nation leaders join us to discuss which issues are important to them ahead of the upcoming federal election.We begin with discussion about what is being asked of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Harry Daniels vs Canada case which is currently being heard.  A decision is expected early in 2016.Meanwhile, well over four hundred thousand Metis people are deciding along with Canadians on who to vote for on October 19th.Watch this edition to hear more about their top concerns.last_img read more

NWT Health Minister looking for Indigenous physician to conduct inquiry into death

first_imgIman Kassam APTN National NewsNorthwest Territories Health Minister Glen Abernethy says he is looking for an Indigenous physician to conduct an external investigation into the death of Hugh Papik.“The concerns about the impacts of racism in the health care system have received considerable attention across Canada in recent years,” Abernethy told APTN in an interview Wednesday. “And we know in the Northwest Territories that this is a real issue and that our system is not immune.”The inquiry is called a critical incident investigation and is part of new legislation that went into effect Aug., 1.  The Legislation gives authority to the health minister to investigate any critical incident where there is a concern with the care that is being provided.Abernethy couldn’t speak directly to the Papik case due to privacy laws, but he said the results of the investigation, including any recommendations, will be made public.He could not give any details on how the investigation will be conducted, and no start date has been set.Hugh Papik, 68, died after suffering a stroke at the government operated Joe Greenland seniors home.According to his niece, Maggie Papik, nurses at the home believed the elder Papik was intoxicated.She said when she arrived at the centre he was lying on the ground in a pool of urine.Papik said once he was brought to the community health centre, the nurses also assumed he was drunk and didn’t treat him. She says they sat in the healthShe said they sat in the health centre for more than six hours before he was medevaced to a larger health centre in Inuvik.Inuvialuit Elder whose stroke went untreated for six hours has died says nieceBy that point, she says her uncle didn’t know his own name.Papik was told by doctors that her uncle had too much swelling in his brain, and wasn’t going to make it. She then decided to take him off of life support.Hugh Papik died on Aug., 15 at the health centre in Inuvik.ikassam@aptn.calast_img read more

I dont feel its ok Barbara Kentners family wanted accused to be

first_imgWillow FiddlerAPTN NewsThe Thunder Bay teenager who allegedly threw a trailer hitch at Anishinaabe woman Barbara Kentner while she was walking down the street is out on bail after being charged with second-degree murder.“I don’t feel it’s okay,” said Melissa Kentner, Barbara Kentner’s sister.“He should still be in jail, awaiting trial. Then see what happens after that,” she said.Barbara Kentner, 34, was hit in the stomach after a passenger in a moving vehicle hurled the hitch out the window  January 28.Kentner required emergency surgery for a ruptured small intestine.A week later, Brayden Bushby, 18, was charged with aggravated assault.Kentner never recovered from her injuries.She died on July 4.(Melissa Kentner outside the Thunder Bay courthouse. Photo: Willow Fiddler/APTN)Melissa Kentner, who cared for her up until her death, said she’s happy the charge has been upgraded but has mixed emotions.“I don’t know how to feel right now,” said Melissa Kentner. “I’m happy, I’m sad and leary of what’s going to happen. There’s always a chance he could walk.”On Friday Kentner, and her niece Serena, Barbara Kentner’s teenage daughter, met with the Acting Crown Attorney Andrew Sadler, Regional Coroner Michael Wilson, and Thunder Bay Police Detective Joe Dampier at the Thunder Bay courthouse.Kentner had remained hopeful that Bushby’s charge would be upgraded.Earlier in the week, after being invited to the meeting she said that she hoped that he would be charged with murder.They went into the Indigenous Peoples Court to smudge before heading into a private meeting which lasted over an hour.(Barbara Kentner in an undated photo)Coming out of that meeting, Kentner said she felt good.By 11 am, the Crown was before the court reading the upgraded charge of second-degree murder against Bushby.In the months since Barbara Kentner’s death, the Crown had been waiting for the completed coroner’s report with any evidence that would indicate Barbara died as a result of her injuries from being attacked with the trailer hitch.After the assault, Kentner was in and out of the hospital with complications from her injuries.Then in March, Melissa Kentner told APTN National News that her sister had weeks to live.“There’s nothing they could do for her,” Kentner said after the family met with doctors.It was a cold Saturday night in January when Barbara was walking down the street with her older sister Melissa.They were walking from their sister’s house to Melissa’s son’s house, a few blocks away.It was a walk they did often. Turns out, it was also their last.Melissa Kentner recalled seeing the vehicle coming towards them from down the street with one of the passengers hanging out the window. Melissa Kentner was walking ahead of her sister.“I didn’t really think anything of it and then I heard him say, ‘oh I (f**king) got one’ and he’s laughing away,” said Melissa Kentner.She looked back at her sister who was hunched over in pain.“I got hit with something,” Barbara yelled to her sister.Kentner said she saw the trailer hitch on the ground next to her sister.That trailer hitch now police evidence in a murder case.Hours after his arrest for the second-degree murder of Barbara Kentner, Bushby was walking out of the courthouse with his family.Acting Crown Attorney Sadler didn’t contest the defence’s application to release Bushby from custody.His parents, grandmother, and others sat quietly but anxiously in the courtroom.Bushby stood in the centre of the room, wearing a brown camouflaged jacket, hands cuffed in front of him. He kept his eyes forward on the presiding judge, answering yes and no to the questions asked of him.Bushby’s conditions are essentially the same since his release last February for the aggravated assault charge. He must reside and be in the company of either his mother or father at all times, have no contact or communication with Melissa Kentner and three other individuals, and cannot possess weapons or be in possession of/consume alcohol and controlled substances.Kentner said she still has a lot of questions. Like why haven’t the other three occupants in the vehicle charged?It’s a question that was asked of the Crown.“Things will be unfolding during the court proceedings,” was the only comment the Crown would make.Bushby’s next court appearance is Nov. 6 in Thunder Bay. He has not yet entered a plea.A publication ban prohibits any evidence related to the charge to be published.last_img read more

Fundraising efforts underway to build muchneeded Indigenous healing lodge in Toronto

first_imgafrancis@aptn.ca@aptnafrancis Annette FrancisAPTN NewsThe plan to build Toronto’s first Indigenous women’s healing lodge for women who are in trouble with the law is underway.The shelter was approved by Toronto city council in August but money must be raised to buy the property.Kelly Potvin, a member of  the Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society, says fundraising is in full swing.“We’re at the very last hurdle, which is the last little bit of money that we need to purchase the land,” said Potvin.“So we’re talking to lenders, we’re talking to donors, and we’re on our last push to get that. We have so much money secured, but its back-end dollars.”In spite of objections from members of the local community, the proposed lodge was approved last month by the Scarborough Committee of Adjustment.The 24-bed healing lodge will be the first of its kind in Ontario, and only the fourth in the country.The six-story facility will be built on the corner of Kingston Road and Cliffside Drive in Scarborough (APTN).It’s a vision of Patti Pettigrew.“In my work as a Gladue writer, I work with a lot of women who are incarcerated and I’ve written their life stories – and they are horrendous. And so, with the right therapy, the right healing, they’ll gain their strength and their identity,” she said.If all goes well, the six-story facility will be built on the corner of Kingston Road and Cliffside Drive in Scarborough.“Toronto has a very large Indigenous population, a lot of the women, when they leave – like Grand Valley Institute – are dropped off in Toronto so the area that we would have the lodge has the largest indigenous population,”  Pettigrew said.She said the shelter will have around-the-clock supports, with access to Elders, cultural space and counselling.Potvin said it’s a much needed-facility for Indigenous women.“We know that women are disproportionately incarcerated even though the Office of the Correctional Investigator has called time and time again, year after year, for the de-carceration of Indigenous women, and Indigenous women should be moved into community and not behind bars and put into prisons,” said Potvin.Independent Senator Kim Pate knows women need a healing lodge in Canada’s biggest city. (APTN file)Independent Ontario Senator Kim Pate agrees.“The reality is that we need some much more robust effort to get people into communities, but I think it’s great that this group of women is doing all they can to get women out of prison and into a healing lodge,” said Pate.“The challenges they’re seeing is the resources aren’t being put in place in the community, so they’re left to have to raise their own funds instead of resources being available that are otherwise being spent to keep people in prison.”The closing date for the sale of the property is Nov. 15.According to Potvin, if the fundraising campaign is successful, shovels will be in the ground the next day.last_img read more

Trumps blow to Obamacare jolts health consumers politics

first_imgWASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s abrupt move to cut off federal payments to insurers jolted America’s health care and political worlds alike on Friday, threatening to boost premiums for millions, disrupt insurance markets and shove Republicans into a renewed civil war over their efforts to shred “Obamacare.”Defiant Democrats, convinced they have important leverage, promised to press for a bipartisan deal to restore the money by year’s end. That drive could split the GOP. On one side: pragmatists seeking to avoid political damage from hurting consumers. On the other: conservatives demanding a major weakening of the Affordable Care Act as the price for returning the money.“The American people will know exactly where to place the blame,” declared Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., all but daring Trump to aggravate what could be a major issue in the 2018 congressional elections.The money goes to companies for lowering out-of-pocket costs like co-payments and deductibles for low- and middle-income customers. It will cost about $7 billion this year and help more than 6 million people.Ending the payments would affect insurers because President Barack Obama’s law requires them to reduce their poorer customers’ costs. Carriers are likely to recoup the lost money by increasing 2018 premiums for people buying their own health insurance policies.The National Association of Insurance Commissioners estimates that Trump’s move would produce a 12 per cent to 15 per cent upsurge in premiums, while the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has put the figure at 20 per cent. That’s on top of premium increases from growing medical costs.Experts say the political instability over Trump’s effort to undermine Obama’s health care law could also prompt more insurers to leave markets. As Trump frequently points out, next year about half of U.S. counties will have only one insurer on “Obamacare’s” online marketplaces, up from the one-third of counties with one carrier in 2017.Trump relished his latest blow against the law that he pledged to repeal during his presidential campaign, only to see the effort crash in the GOP-run Senate this summer. He’s long derided the subsidies as bailouts to insurers, even though the payments and the cost reductions for consumers are required by law.The scrapping of subsidies would affect millions more consumers in states won by Trump last year, including Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, than in states won by Democrat Hillary Clinton. Nearly 70 per cent of the 6 million who benefit from the cost-sharing subsidies are in states that voted for the Republican.“Congress, they forgot what their pledges were,” Trump told conservative activists at the Values Voter Summit, recalling GOP candidates’ repeated vows to repeal Obama’s law. “So we’re going a little different route. But you know what? In the end, it’s going to be just as effective, and maybe it will even be better.”On Twitter Friday night, he wrote: “Money pouring into Insurance Companies profits, under the guise of ObamaCare, is over. They have made a fortune. Dems must get smart & deal!”Trump’s move was hailed by conservative groups including Heritage Action for America and Freedom Partners, backed by the Koch brothers.But rallying against it were medical and consumer groups including the American Heart Association, the American College of Physicians and insurance industry behemoths America’s Health Insurance Plans and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.Nineteen Democratic state attorneys general are suing Trump over the stoppage. Attorneys generals from California, Kentucky, Massachusetts and New York were among those who filed the lawsuit in federal court in California to stop Trump’s attempt “to gut the health and well-being of our country.”A federal judge has found that Congress never properly approved the payments. The subsidies have continued under Obama and Trump until now, despite prior Trump threats to block them.Schumer told reporters that Trump’s “threats and bullying are not going to work.” He said he saw a good chance of forcing money for the cost sharing reductions into a massive spending bill Congress is expected to approve late this year.Democrats think Trump would have little clout to block a bipartisan deal, citing support for the payments by some Republicans and polls showing the public would fault the GOP for any failure. Some Republicans privately agree.“Now, President Trump has his fingerprints all over the knife,” said Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who heads Senate Democrats’ campaign committee.In a survey released Friday by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, 7 in 10 said the administration should help Obama’s law work, not undermine it, including nearly half of Republicans. The same group conducted an August poll showing 6 in 10 people would blame Trump and the GOP for future health care woes.Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., have been seeking a deal that Alexander said in a recent interview would reinstate the payments for two years. He said in exchange, Republicans want “meaningful flexibility for states” to offer lower-cost insurance policies with less coverage than Obama’s law mandates.Republicans are divided over that effort.Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who leads the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said in an interview that he’s willing to back the payments if they’re “part of a transition from Obamacare to something else” with greater state flexibility than Alexander and Murray are discussing. Another conservative leader, Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., said the payments should be revived “under no circumstance.”Some GOP leaders have expressed openness to continuing the payments, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who’s said he wants them accompanied by significant changes. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said this summer that the payments should be continued, citing their impact on premiums.Moderates like Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Friday that halting the payments would make insurance costs “unaffordable for some people.” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., tweeted that the cuts “will mean more uninsured in my district.”___AP reporters Ken Thomas and Jill Colvin contributed.last_img read more

TSX falls as energy stocks fail to get lift from highest crude

first_imgTORONTO – Canada’s main stock market resumed its downward trajectory Wednesday as energy stocks failed to get a lift even though crude oil prices hit nearly a nine-week high.There was a disconnect as the overall market didn’t benefit from higher commodity prices because of uncertainty over NAFTA negotiations, said Candice Bangsund, vice-president and portfolio manager for Fiera Capital.“We’re not there yet and I think the market is just expressing a little bit of caution there and just waiting for some sort of tangible news on the NAFTA front,” she said in an interview.“That NAFTA overhang has really weighed on the index fairly generally and the hope is that we do get some sort of positive news on that front and likely could see a relief rally on Canadian stocks.”The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 45.23 points to 16,049.02, after hitting a low of 15,993.58 on 266.3 million shares traded. The decrease came a day after the market hit its first daily gain in September.Market heavyweights industrials, financials and energy all closed down.Gold, materials and base metals led on the positive because of a lower U.S. dollar and hope that a solution could be found in the U.S. trade dispute with China after a report said that the Americans were seeking new trade talks before even imposing new tariffs.“We find this to be fairly encouraging and I think the market is tentatively, cautiously optimistic so that’s why you’re not seeing a strong relief rally,” Bangsund said.Offsetting the hope was a down day in the United States for the market-heavy U.S. technology sector.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 27.86 points to 25,998.92. The S&P 500 index was up 1.03 points to 2,888.92, while the Nasdaq composite was off 18.24 points to 7,954.23.The Canadian dollar was trading at an average of 76.84 cents US compared with an average of 76.22 cents US on Tuesday.The gain came as the October crude contract was up US$1.12 at US$70.37 per barrel, the highest level since July 13.The improvement was driven by the U.S. producer price index posting its first monthly decline in 18 months, a weaker U.S. greenback against several currencies and concern about the impact of Hurricane Florence that is set to hit the U.S. southeastern coast.“On the oil front we saw a larger than expected weekly draw down in crude stockpiles so this is contributing to an already fairly tight crude market,” she added.The October natural gas contract was up 0.1 of a cent at US$2.83 per mmBTU.The December gold contract was up $8.70 to US$1,210.90 an ounce and the December copper contract was up 5.4 cents at US$2.68 a pound.last_img read more

US average mortgage rates ease 30year at 483 per cent

first_imgWASHINGTON – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, in a quiet pause after weeks of market anxiety over rising interest rates.Home borrowing rates still remain at their highest levels in more than seven years, dampening the outlook for prospective homebuyers. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages eased to an average 4.83 per cent this week from 4.86 per cent last week. A year ago, it stood at 3.94 per cent.The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans slipped to 4.23 per cent this week from 4.29 per cent last week.Anxiety over rising interest rates, which result from strength in the economy, has buffeted financial markets in recent weeks and spilled over into the housing market.U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday and Wednesday after falling sharply from early October through the last few days of the month — a skid that wiped out their gains from earlier in the year.The combination of higher mortgage rates and increasing home prices has made home ownership less affordable.Despite the higher borrowing costs, “the monthly mortgage payment remains affordable,” Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater said. For many buyers, he said, the persistent lack of available properties for first-time homebuyers is a bigger hurdle than higher mortgage rates because choices are limited. And the shortage of available homes has pushed prices higher.To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week.The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates.The average fee on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year mortgages rose to 0.5 point from 0.4 point.The average rate for five-year adjustable-rate mortgages dropped to 4.04 per cent from 4.14 per cent last week. The fee held steady at 0.3 point.last_img read more

Asian stocks sink after Wall Street tech selloff

first_imgBEIJING — Most Asian stocks sank Tuesday after a tech sell-off dragged Wall Street lower.KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 2.3 per cent to 21,760.59 while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8 per cent to 2,652.70. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 declined 1.8 per cent to 5,834.20 and Seoul’s Kospi gave up 0.7 per cent to 2,065.42. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.2 per cent to 25,706.88, while India’s Sensex retreated 0.2 per cent to 34,747.01. Jakarta gained while New Zealand, Taiwan and other Southeast Asian market declined.WALL STREET: A sell-off in technology companies knocked more than 600 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The wave of selling snared big names including Apple, Amazon and Goldman Sachs. Banks, consumer-focused companies, and media and communications stocks all took heavy losses. That, in turn, weighed on chipmakers. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 2 per cent to 2,726.22. The Dow gave up 2.3 per cent to 25,387.18. It was down briefly by 648 points. The Nasdaq composite slid 2.8 per cent to 7,200.87.APPLE: The tech tumble followed an analyst report that suggested Apple significantly cut back orders from one of its suppliers. That fueled questions about the outlook for tech industries and U.S. economic growth. Apple fell 5 per cent after Wells Fargo analysts said the iPhone maker is the unnamed customer that optical communications company Lumentum Holdings said was significantly reducing orders. Shares in Lumentum plunged 33 per cent.US-CHINA TRADE: Markets in Shanghai and Hong gained after the South China Morning Post newspaper reported Chinese President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser, Vice Premier Liu He, might visit Washington ahead of Xi’s planned meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. The newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said the visit is aimed at easing trade tensions but no schedule had been decided. The two sides have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods in a dispute over U.S. complaints about Beijing’s technology policy. Xi and Trump are due to meet during this month’s Group of 20 gathering of major economies in Argentina.ANALYST’S TAKE: “The U.S. morning sell-off in the tech sector triggered the equity rout,” said Stephen Innes of OANDA in a report. “It is hard to overlook the global growth slowdown, while the Trump administration seems set to exert pressure on China trade.” A stronger U.S. dollar usually acts as a “wrecking ball through Asian equities.”OPEC: Saudi Arabia said the oil cartel and allied crude producers will likely need to cut supplies, perhaps by as much as 1 million barrels of oil a day, to rebalance the market after U.S. sanctions failed to cut Iran’s output. Khalid al-Falih’s comments showed the balancing act U.S. allies face in dealing with President Donald Trump’s actions. Trump has demanded OPEC increase production to drive down U.S. gasoline prices. Al-Falih, who on Sunday said the kingdom would cut production by more than 500,000 barrels per day in December, said Saudi Arabia gave customers “100 per cent of what they asked for.” That appeared to be a veiled reference to Trump.ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 87 cents to $59.04 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract sank 26 cents on Monday to $59.93. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 81 cents to $69.33 in London. It declined 6 cents the previous session to $70.12.CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 113.89 yen from Monday’s 113.84 yen. The euro gained to $1.1241 from $1.1218.Joe McDonald, The Associated Presslast_img read more