Day: February 25, 2019

The Latest: Tusk urges May to request Brexit extension

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):

2:55 p.m.

European Council President Donald Tusk says that the chances of a Brexit deal being sealed are receding and he is urging British Prime Minister Theresa May to request that the negotiations be prolonged.

Tusk said Monday that “it’s clear that there is no majority in the House of Commons to approve a deal.”

He said: “I believe that in the situation that we are in, an extension would be a rational solution.”

He added that May’s 27 European partners would show “maximum understanding.”

___

12:15 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is under pressure to delay the country’s departure from the European Union, after she postponed a vote in Parliament on her Brexit deal with the bloc.

May is holding meetings with EU leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday at an EU-Arab League summit in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, as she seeks elusive changes to the U.K.-EU divorce agreement.

Britain’s Parliament has rejected the deal once, and May has just over a month to get it approved by lawmakers before Britain’s scheduled departure day of March 29. May says a new vote won’t be held this week and could come as late as March 12.

A group of lawmakers will try this week to force the government to delay Brexit.

The Associated Press

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source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/02/25/the-latest-tusk-urges-may-to-request-brexit-extension/

By The Wall of Law February 25, 2019 Off

Family calls on feds to step in after Oakville man detained in Egypt

Family members of a Canadian man detained in Egypt are calling on the federal government to step in and bring him home, citing concerns for his safety after they were informed that he is being held in a notorious prison without charge.

Amal Ahmed Albaz said her family was “torn apart” when her father was stopped at Cairo International Airport on Feb. 18 on his way back to Canada. She said he had his passport seized by Egyptian authorities and was taken in for questioning.

He managed to message the family from the airport about what was happening, telling him he loves them, but Albaz said the family hasn’t heard from him since.

“It was on Family Day, when families are supposed to come together, mine was torn apart. My dad was trying to come home,” she said.

She said her father, 51-year-old Yasser Ahmed Albaz, who lives in Oakville. Ont., has been in Egypt on a business trip for his engineering firm since December. Amal said her family still doesn’t know why he was detained and questioned.

Amal said the family immediately contact Global Affairs Canada, which provided a list of lawyers the family could contact to assist Yasser.

Amal said a lawyer was hired, and on Saturday night, he told the family that Yasser is being held in a prison in the Tora Prison complex in Cairo, but no charges have been laid and it is not known why he remains in custody.

The prison has been the subject of concern from various human rights groups where advocates and journalists have been detained and imprisoned in the last few years.

In November 2017, a top judicial agency in Egypt agreed to review the prison to assess whether it suitable to house inmates after allegations the prison was cutting off access to families and lawyers and not providing medical treatment to prisoners.

“My family and I are worried for his safety,” said Amal. “We can’t sleep, we can’t eat, we can’t do anything.”

A Global Affairs Canada spokesman said on Saturday that the government agency is aware that a Canadian citizen was detained in Egypt and consular services were provided, but he could not provide further information citing privacy concerns.

Amal said she is concerned that she has not been told where her father was immediately after he was detained or how long he was in the prison. She said the lawyer told her and her family that Yasser will be questioned by Egyptian authorities again on Tuesday, but she hopes the Canadian government will get involved before then.

“My father needs to come home,” she said. “He needs to come home today.”

– With files from the Associated Press

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source https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/family-calls-on-feds-to-step-in-after-oakville-man-detained-in-egypt-1.4311221

By The Wall of Law February 25, 2019 Off

Domee Shi’s ‘Bao’ Wins Oscar For Best Animated Short

Becky Neiman-Cobb, left, and Domee Shi, winners of the Oscar for Best Animated Short for

It was the little film about dumplings that could — and it did!

And along the way, “Bao” shone a spotlight on the impressive talent, tasty Chinese eats, and cultural richness for which Torontonians are so rightfully proud.

Directed by Domee Shi, the animated film made hearts melt in summer 2018 when it premiered ahead of the “Incredibles 2,” and scored an Academy Award Sunday night for “Best Animated Short.”

“To all the nerdy girls out there, who hide behind their sketch books, don’t be afraid to tell your stories to the world!” Shi said as she accepted the Oscar alongside producer Becky Neiman-Cobb. Neiman-Cobb thanked her “little bao,” daughter Lucy, and said she got to help make “Bao” just as she was becoming a mom, which made the experience really special.

Becky Neiman-Cobb and Domee Shi accept their Oscar for Best Animated Short for "Bao."

It’s been quite the year for Chinese Canadian Shi, who with “Bao” became the first woman to ever direct a short at animation giant Pixar. And even before the short premiered last June, “Bao” and its young director were winning praise for the film’s loving treatment of the sometimes intense and protective love that children of Chinese parents can experience.

Shi, who was born in Chongqing, China, immigrated with her parents to Toronto at a young age, and “Bao” is as much a love letter to the sights and sounds of Toronto as it is a story about the relationship between an empty-nest Chinese Canadian mom and her dumpling son.

Watch: See if you can catch glimpses of Toronto in this clip of “Bao.” Story continues below.

When it was released, Asians in Canada and across North America were touched by the way “Bao” so accurately (and adorably) depicted their realities. The details in the family’s home, the way Ma shows her son love with a feast of dishes, the trip to a Chinese grocery, the stop into the bakery to pick up fresh pastries — all of it was so carefully recreated by Shi and her team (her mom even gave the animators dumpling-making lessons), and it hit home in a big way.

Asian peeps were, not surprisingly, fully behind Shi’s win on Sunday:

Shi faced some stiff competition from former Sheridan College classmate and current Pixar colleague, Trevor Jimenez, whose short about divorce, “Weekends,” was also nominated in the same category, alongside two other fellow Canadians, David Fine and Alison Snowden for the National Film Board’s “Animal Behaviour.”

Shi gave a nod on the red carpet to the NFB as a guiding influence when she spoke to eTalk’s Ben Mulroney:

“We all grew up with NFB, with the Canadian government just backing shorts for such a long time, it’s like a part of our history and our culture.”

Jimenez also gave a nod to his Canadian roots to Mulroney, saying, “I think there’s a Canadian, kind of quirky sense of humour, that translates well into animation.”

In an unrelated category, Canadian sound engineer Paul Massey also won his first Oscar for his work on “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He won the trophy alongside Tim Cavagin and John Casali in the best sound mixing category.

Watch: Trevor Jimenez talks about “Weekends.” Story continues below.

Weekends- “A Personal Story” from Trevor Jimenez on Vimeo.

Shi also confirmed she was on deck to direct a full feature with Pixar, and said she was “really happy to keep representing my Canadian and Chinese roots.”

Is that a hint of the direction the feature will take? We’ll have to wait and see, but in the meantime, let’s bask in the golden glory of her Oscar win, and if that means steaming/ordering/making some of your favourite dumplings, we fully support it.

With a file from The Canadian Press.

Also on HuffPost: The “Animal Behaviour” directors talk about their short.

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source https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/02/24/domee-shi-bao-oscar_a_23676920/

By The Wall of Law February 25, 2019 Off

Family Of Canadian Man Yasser Ahmed Albaz Detained In Egypt Asks Feds For Help Getting Him Home

Yasser Ahmed Albaz and his wife Safaa Elashmawy are seen in an undated handout photo.

Family members of a Canadian man detained in Egypt are calling on the federal government to step in and bring him home, citing concerns for his safety after they were informed that he is being held in a notorious prison without charge.

Amal Ahmed Albaz said her family was “torn apart” when her father was stopped at Cairo International Airport on Feb. 18 on his way back to Canada. She said he had his passport seized by Egyptian authorities and was taken in for questioning.

He managed to message the family from the airport about what was happening, telling them he loves them, but Albaz said the family hasn’t heard from him since.

“It was on Family Day, when families are supposed to come together, mine was torn apart. My dad was trying to come home,” she said.

“It was on Family Day, when families are supposed to come together, mine was torn apart.”

She said her father, 51-year-old Yasser Ahmed Albaz, who lives in Oakville. Ont., has been in Egypt on a business trip for his engineering firm since December. Amal said her family still doesn’t know why he was detained and questioned.

Amal said the family immediately contact Global Affairs Canada, which provided a list of lawyers the family could contact to assist Yasser.

Amal said a lawyer was hired, and on Saturday night, he told the family that Yasser is being held in a prison in the Tora Prison complex in Cairo, but no charges have been laid and it is not known why he remains in custody.

Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zied, known by his nickname Shawkan, flashes a "V" sign gesture as he listens to his trial in a soundproof glass cage inside a makeshift courtroom in Tora Prison in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, July 28, 2018.

The prison has been the subject of concern from various human rights groups where advocates and journalists have been detained and imprisoned in the last few years.

In November 2017, a top judicial agency in Egypt agreed to review the prison to assess whether it suitable to house inmates after allegations the prison was cutting off access to families and lawyers and not providing medical treatment to prisoners.

“My family and I are worried for his safety,” said Amal. “We can’t sleep, we can’t eat, we can’t do anything.”

A Global Affairs Canada spokesman said on Saturday that the government agency is aware that a Canadian citizen was detained in Egypt and consular services were provided, but he could not provide further information, citing privacy concerns.

Amal said she is concerned that she has not been told where her father was immediately after he was detained or how long he was in the prison. She said the lawyer told her and her family that Yasser will be questioned by Egyptian authorities again on Tuesday, but she hopes the Canadian government will get involved before then.

“My father needs to come home,” she said. “He needs to come home today.”

– With files from the Associated Press

Also on HuffPost:

@repost Divorce Fees

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source https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/02/24/canadian-yasser-ahmed-albaz-detained-in-egypt_a_23677027/

By The Wall of Law February 25, 2019 Off