Interview: The Director and The Producer Behind “Man on Fire”

first_imgIn 2014, a preacher in Grand Saline, Texas self-immolated to protest racism in his town. We talked with the filmmakers who captured his story.All images via Joel Fendelman.At this year’s Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Man on Fire debuted as an official documentary feature. This film tells  the story of Charles Moore, the Texas preacher who set himself on fire to protest the dark history of racism in his town. We sat down with director Joel Fendelman and producer James Chase Sanchez to talk about the challenges of capturing this story and what motivated them to bring it to the world.PremiumBeat: Joel, tell me what drew your interest to this project?Joel Fendelman: At the time I was working towards my MFA degree in the Radio, Television, Film program at the University of Texas, Austin. Chase and I had a mutual friend Kristen Lacefield who told me about Chase’s research and the story of Charles Moore. I was immediately taken back by the extreme act and that I had never heard about it. In fact, I had just arrived in Austin about a month after Charles self-immolated in Grand Saline. I remember especially at that moment having larger existential questions about purpose and my responsibility to social justice in society. And more specifically that I wasn’t doing enough. Whether it was going to a protest march or giving a few bucks to homeless person, it always felt like just enough to stave off the guilt. And here was a preacher who spent his whole life on a mission for social justice and felt that he had not done enough. So I was floored and in awe of this preacher who sacrificed his life in such a horrific manner for a social justice cause. So it attracted me on a deep personal level but also as in everything it wasn’t so black and white. There were many questions I had about Charles, about this town, about his choice. I knew immediately that this could be a good opportunity to explore these questions in a documentary that I would use as my final thesis project.PB: Chase, tell us a bit about the research Joel mentioned. What were you working on, and why?James Chase Sanchez: So I am an academic, and at the time of Moore’s self-immolation, I was in graduate school at Texas Christian University studying racial rhetorics (how people talk about race). On June 23, 2014, Moore self-immolated, and I started collecting news stories and talking with news organizations about this story to get it to the public. I went to my dissertation advisor and told him about Moore, and he suggested it should be my entire dissertation project. I framed my dissertation by talking about the recent uptick in self-immolations globally and then moving into the racial perceptions and folklore in Grand Saline. So by the time Joel got in touch with me about possibly making this documentary, I was already 2/3 through my project and had already interviewed 25 people.I knew almost immediately when Moore self-immolated that if I ever had a story I needed to tell in my life this was it because I was raised in Grand Saline, and the racism that Moore wrote about was a racism I saw in the early-2000s. When his story didn’t make national news, I was upset because I couldn’t understand how something so powerful, something so visceral, didn’t get as much attention as self-immolations that take place in other parts of the world, like Tunisia and Tibet. So I jumped into my dissertation wanting to do justice by Moore, at least in an academic sense, and by extension, I believe this documentary does him justice, too.PB: What gear did you use while shooting, and how big was your crew? Were there particular equipment challenges that you think were unique to this project?JF: The documentary portion of the film was shot using a Sony A7sII with vintage Zeiss Contax lenses. In fact most of the footage was filmed using the 28mm. I used a Sony A6300 B camera for interviews and Ikan DS-1 gimbal for the floating shots. There were three of us: I ran camera, Chase did the interviews, and most of the location audio was done by Rodd Simonsen — with a few pick-up days by others when he couldn’t make it.For the reenactment section, it was a full narrative-like crew. There were probably about 15-20 people over the three-day filming, and we used a Panasonic Varicam LT with Cooke mini S4 lenses.One equipment challenge I had during interviews was that the A6300 B camera would overheat after about 20 minutes when filming in 4k. There were many times when I had stop the interview and cool off the camera. We eventually just ended up filming in 2k with that camera to avoid the overheating issue.During the reenactment filming we brought on Big Dog Pyro to handle the pyrotechnics — who were fantastic to work with. We had a particular shot where we wanted the flames to encroach into the frame from either side. It was a challenge to figure where to position the camera and the flame bars. We ended up putting our cinematographer on the floor with the camera and the flame bars right above him and covering him with flame retardant blankets and filming at 240fps.PB: Chase, I understand you faced some production challenges on this project. Particularly social challenges. Can you tell us about that? Did it ultimately benefit or damage the project?JCS: Yes, since I grew up in the town, I found there to be some social challenges with the film. One of the first challenges is that there were many people who did not want to talk to me because they believed I had a liberal agenda I wanted to spread. I am an academic who studies race and rhetoric, and I have some radical thoughts when it comes to racial issues in America that I talk about publicly. Some town members believed the film was going to be used as propaganda against the town—that we would be claiming the town is racist and all the people in it are racist. So on that end, there were many people who would have been great to interview because they had some deep knowledge and stories about the town, but they chose not to share them with us. Also, I had a few friends who actually wanted to talk but felt they would be chastised by the town if they spoke, which is unfortunate. These challenges came to the forefront during our last trip to town, when we were asked not to attend the football game because it would be “better for us.” We were unsure if someone actually feared for our safety or if they just did not want us to attend the game.Also, during this time, we learned from some prominent citizens in town that there were some people meeting and discussing our project and if they should speak with us or not. I am not sure if Joel agrees or not, but I felt that there were some people who spoke with us because they spoke with other people in town and got “permission” (in one way or another) to be interviewed. I think that was one of the challenges. I mostly felt people were honest with us on camera, but in some of the interviews, I had to press some people who I thought might be spinning stories.Overall, I would say that my relationship to the town actually helped the project. I believe if outsiders came to town and tried to make this documentary, most of the town would have not responded. Michael Hall, the author of the “Man on Fire” article in Texas Monthly, which was one of the inspirations of the documentary, told me that he had a hard time getting anyone in town to discuss race with him. So while there were many people who did not speak because they knew me and believed we had an agenda, I still think my presence did make some people feel more comfortable because why would a former citizen who mostly enjoyed his adolescent years in town launch into a full-on assault of the town? I think we did a good job alleviating these problems by describing the nuance we were shooting for in the film, and I believe the final product is something that reflects this nuance.PB: Joel, do you want to weigh in?JF: It was interesting for me to observe Chase interacting with the townspeople, many who he had connection to directly or through family or friends. It was always a question whether the person knew Chase’s politics and if so how they felt about it. And then myself being a Jewish city boy, I was curious how that would come off. But interestingly enough, no one ever really asked. I’d say barring the experiences that Chase mentioned and some controversy on social media at the end, all the interviewees were pretty friendly and forthcoming. I did have a concern about how people would discuss race with us on camera and whether we could get anyone to really talk about it — similar to Michael Hall’s challenge. But the beauty of cinema in contrast to a written article is that the camera captures so much. So even when someone doesn’t want to answer a question or brushes it off, the visual act of not saying something can speak volumes. It kind of goes in line with the saying that a picture speaks a thousand words.PB: Joel, you mentioned that you shot the documentary using vintage lenses, and we’re seeing more and more of this trend in the industry. As a cinematographer, what were you hoping to bring to your project with the particular load-out you carried on location?JF: There are a number of reasons I decided to go with the vintage lenses. Firstly, digital can be very sharp and sterile, so any way that we can add character and slightly soften the edge of the digital image the better — unless one is going for the sharp, sterile look. Secondly, you can get pretty high-quality lenses for relatively cheap, at least compared to what a new lens of similar quality might cost.As far as the equipment that I decided to use, it was based around a combination of price, aesthetic, and size. I love the look that the DSLRs are able to bring in such a small, reasonably priced package. At that point the Sony A7sII mirrorless camera had recently come out and was carrying a good reputation with quality and incredible low light capabilities. So it seemed like a good fit for this film because we wanted to be as low-key as possible and use natural light whenever available. It also allowed me to use the Ikan gimbal to create these very high-production-value, Steadicam-like shots for a fraction of the cost.PB: Man on Fire was an official selection this year at Slamdance. What was your experience with the festival, and where can we look to watch the film?JCS: Well, this was my first time at a film festival, so I was mesmerized by everything. Park City was full of people attending Sundance and Slamdance, and it was exciting to see so many creative people coming together to share their work with the world. For Slamdance especially, the mantra is “for filmmakers by filmmakers,” and you see that encompassed in the fabric of the festival. So many great independent filmmakers converged at this one festival, and the experience was very communal in nature. I was so happy to be a part of this project and to be able to experience this festival.We have a few forthcoming screenings: we are screening at the Big Sky Film Festival in Missoula, Montana on February 17th, and we will also be in the San Luis Obispo Film Festival in March. We also have two upcoming school screenings at the Liberty Hall in Tyler, TX on February 28th at 6:00pm and at Texas Christian University on March 1st at 7:00pm. Finally, we will be a part of the PBS Independent Lens series either this fall or next spring.JF: Let me add that one of the key motivating factors for us making this film was to use it as a vehicle for discussion and reflection. We have a link on our website, where you can request to host a screening and have us attend. So even if the film isn’t as of now scheduled to come to your town, it can be…Looking for more filmmaking interviews? Check these out.Interview: How the Editor Behind I, Tonya Recreated HistoryInterview: How This Oscar Nom Edited Downsizing While Directing His First FeatureExclusive Interview: The Secrets Behind RED Sensors and ResolutionInterview: Reality T.V. Sound Mixer Matthew HughesA Conversation with the DP of The Confession TapesInterested in more on working with vintage lenses? Read our previous coverage.Using Vintage Film Lenses on Micro 4/3 CamerasExplore the Ultimate Vintage Lens LibraryWorking with Vintage Lenses on Modern CamerasShould You Use Vintage Lenses on Your Next Project?What Do Filmmakers Mean When They Refer to the Cooke Look?last_img read more

‘SHE Team’ on the patrol in Odisha

first_img‘SHE Team’, the innovative pilot project launched by Odisha’s Gajapati district police in Paralakhemundi started functioning from Friday to ensure safety and security of young girls and women.Justice K.R.Mohapatra of the Orissa High Court formally flagged off the ‘SHE Team’ at a colourful function held at Biju Patnaik Kalyan Mandap of Paralakhemundi. Since June 24, a massive awareness drive about the project had been taken up in Gajapati’s district headquarter town, Paralakhemundi.The theme song of ‘SHE Team’ sung by Gajapati Superintendent of Police Sarah Sharma has already drawn much attention. The young IPS officer used her Hindustani classical skills learnt during her student days in Cuttack. Its lyric was written by female inspector Mamata Nayak. This theme song was launched on June 25 and logo of the project was released the previous day. There were competitions among students and rallies to popularise concept of ‘SHE Team’ in Paralakhemundi.SHE stands for ‘Safety, Health and Environment’. This project is modelled on the lines of Hyderabad ‘SHE Team’, said Ms. Sharma. The ‘SHE Team’ of Paralakhemundi is headed by a lady sub-inspector and includes mobile patrolling teams. Four female and three male police personnel will assist her. They will patrol schools, colleges, other local institutions and public places, where young girls and women are allegedly subjected to eve teasing, stalking and harassment.Website launchedThe website of ‘SHE Team’ has been launched and a mobile app is under construction. At the time of distress, women of Paralakhemundi can contact ‘SHE Team’ through its website ‘sheteamgajapati.com’, landline number 06815-222388 or by WhatsApp number 9438916707. The website and phone numbers are being publicised through social media and other means.‘SHE Team’ will also try to prevent harassment of working women at workplaces and public places where they move for their job. It will teach self defence and cyber space safety to young girls and children.It will visit child care institutions and make children aware about sexual abuse.last_img read more

Bolt wants to go out ‘unbeatable’

first_imgTNT needs to ‘learn to adjust’ after another foul-laden game, says Racela Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m gold medallist and 2005 world champion before serving a ban between 2006-10, won silvers behind Bolt in Beijing in 2015 and Moscow two years previously, and last year became the oldest man to win a 100m Olympic medal when he took silver in Rio, also behind his Jamaican nemesis.Bolt’s teammate Yohan Blake, world 100m champion in 2011 after the false start, and Gatlin’s compatriot Christian Coleman, who has the season’s fastest time of 9.82sec, should be in the running.And Canadian Andre de Grasse, South African Akani Simbine and Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut all have a realistic chance of bagging a medal should they safely negotiate heats and keep enough in reserve from Friday’s heats for Saturday’s semi-final and final.“I love competition, I thrive on competition and I want people to run fast to push me,” warned Bolt, who set the current world record of 9.58sec when he won world gold in Berlin in 2009, his winning times in the last two championships being 9.79 and 9.77 respectively.“I’m the underdog, for some reason,” Bolt said. “That’s what I keep reading. That’s what my team keeps telling me… I’ve got to prove myself once more.“My last race was 9.95, which shows I’m going in the right direction. The two rounds (of heats and semi-finals) always help me. I’m always going forward.“At a championships it’s about who keeps their nerve. I’ve been here before. It’s time to go. It’s ‘go’ time.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. FILE – In this Aug. 17, 2013, file photo, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt competes to win the men’s 200-meter final at the World Athletics Championships, in Moscow, Russia. The man who reshaped the record book and saved his sport along the way is saying goodbye. His runs through the 100 meters and Jamaica’s 4×100 relay at next week’s world championships are expected to produce golds yet again, along with leaving people to wonder who could possibly take his place. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)Usain Bolt is confident he can produce one more magical Midas touch when he seeks to defend his 100m title at the IAAF World Championships.In eight individual finals at the past four worlds as well as in four 4x100m relay finals, Bolt has only suffered one hiccup: when he false started in the 100m final in Daegu in 2011.ADVERTISEMENT Eleven world titles to go along with eight Olympic golds: Bolt has the experience of dealing with multi-round big-event racing.It would be a brave person to bet against the 30-year-old Jamaican, no matter how sluggish, relatively speaking, his season has been so far.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsHe has had only three outings, all over 100m, and only once dipped under the 10-second barrier, in Monaco last month (9.95sec).“If I show up at a championships I’m fully confident,” Bolt maintained. Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweetcenter_img Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo MOST READ FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ “My coach (Glen Mills) is confident and I’m ready to go. I’m fully confident, 100 percent.”While labelling himself “for some reason, the underdog”, Bolt fired out a warning shot at potential rivals by saying he wanted to bring the curtain down on his individual exploits as a sprinter who was “unbeatable, unstoppable”.Bolt suffered a rare defeat in the 100m by two-time doping cheat Justin Gatlin at the Rome Diamond League meet in 2013, losing out by a hundredth of a second.And the multi-medalled American, now 35, will be in the field in the British capital and a nailed-down contender for a podium place.Bolt Gatlin’s nemesisADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View comments LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

London Olympics: US women win gold in 4x100m relay

first_imgAfter the woeful performance by the men sprinters of United States of America, it was left to their high profile women’s quartet to do the star turn as they smashed the 4x100m relay record at the Olympic Stadium on Friday night. The quartet of Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter burned the track as they beat the challenge from the Jamaican relay runners to win gold in 40.82 seconds in front of an appreciative audience.This relay record was one of the oldest in athletics history, the previous one having been set by the erstwhile German Democratic Republic (GDR) quartet in Canberra, Australia in 1985.And the improvement by the Americans on the record now is by 0.78 seconds.Jamaica finished in 41.41 second for silver and Ukraine 42.04 seconds for bronze.Running the anchor leg, Carmelita Jeter was in terrific form as she helped the Americans beat the Jamaicans squad which included Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce by more than four-tenths of a second.The atmosphere in the arena was electrifying.After Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake had treated the global audience to amazing 100m and 200m runs during the week, the American women grabbed the spotlight with bursts of speed where the runners’ baton exchange caught the eye.As Carmelita Jeter tore down the final straight, she raised the baton in triumph and looked at the electronic scoreboard 40.82 seconds!Tianna Madison gave the US a brilliant start, with, with Allyson Felix and Bianca Knight maintaining the lead before 100m Olympic silver medallist Carmelita Jeter ran flat and hard.”I knew that these girls were going to run their hearts out,” said Carmelita. “I knew we were running fast.”There was a cloud hanging over us with people saying ‘they can’t do this, they’re going to drop the stick’ but we did it.”Four years ago, at the Beijing Olympics, the US quarter had been disqualified and in the 2009 world championship, they had failed to finish.The record books say this is the 10th time the US runners have won the women’s 4x100m title at an Olympic Games. However, after the Atlanta Olympics, this win comes after a long time.”We had confidence in each other. It felt great to walk out to the stadium and feel that atmosphere and electricity,” said Tianna Madison.As one who changed from long jump to relay recently, Tianna said it was her husbands decision.”My big turnaround was my husband. He said I was sleeping on my potential and being really lazy.advertisementIn September, we made the commitment to train hard and on New Years’ Eve we said 2012 was going to be our year and we were going to do everything by the book to make sure that happened,” he said.”The last time I was in a relay was probably in college. I owe this turnaround to my husband for being real with me.””It was an absolutely unreal feeling. I just feel that for so long that record has stood and to look up and see we had a world record was just crazy. You just don’t think something like that.”We were walking to the call room before the race and we were having so much fun. I knew from that moment we were going to run well, we were just so happy,” said Carmelita Jeter later at the press conference.last_img read more

a month agoDerby fire five past Man Utd U18

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Derby fire five past Man Utd U18by Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United U18s were thrashed 5-1 by Derby County yesterday.Hit by a three-goal, seven-minute Rams salvo in the first half, it was a blow which the Reds couldn’t recover from, despite Mark Helm’s strike providing a glimmer of hope before the interval. Two further Derby goals after the break put the game well out of United’s reach.The trio of Bjorn Hardley, Calen Gallagher-Allison and Hannibal Mejbri – all 16-year-olds – were called up to make their full Under-18 debuts in place of Connor Stanley, the suspended Reece Devine and Will Fish, who had made an impressive bow for the Under-23s against Fulham the previous evening at Leigh. last_img read more

ClassNK Receives Authorization to Perform Surveys for …

first_imgzoom ClassNK has earned authorization from the Finnish Transport Safety Agency to carry out surveys for Finnish flagged vessels.The agreement allows ClassNK to perform surveys for SOLAS, MARPOL, Load Line and other international conventions, as well as perform audits and issue certificates on behalf of the Finnish Government.Speaking on the occasion, ClassNK Chairman and President Noboru Ueda said: “With the opening of our newest office in Helsinki on 1 December 2013 and the signing of this new authorization agreement, ClassNK is now able to provide a full classification service to all owners operating vessels in Finland, including those with domestically flagged vessels.”“Over the past several years we have made a tremendous commitment to improving our operations in Northern Europe and the Baltic region especially. In addition to new and expanded offices in St. Petersburg, Klaipeda,  Hamburg and now Helsinki, our ability to work on behalf of an expanded range of regional governments mean that we can provide an even better service to our clients throughout the region.”With the authorization from Finland, ClassNK is now authorized to perform surveys and audits on behalf of 16 Flag Administrations in the EU, and a total of 110 Flag Administrations throughout the world.ClassNK, Decembar 27, 2013last_img read more

Tenders Called for Guysborough County Paving Project

first_imgA popular road connection in the Guysborough area will soon be smoother and stronger thanks to a road-paving tender called by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. The tender calls for repaving for 6.4 kilometres South River Lake Road. It begins 2.9 kilometres west of the intersection with North Ogden Road east heading toward Roachvale. “Many drivers use this road to connect between Guysborough and Route 316,” said Brooke Taylor, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “I’m pleased that we’re able to include this project on the 2009 construction schedule.” The department’s highways division manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia. It maintains 4,100 bridges and operates seven provincial ferries. Staff provide services from district offices in Bridgewater, Bedford, Truro and Sydney.last_img read more

After initial success AAP govt to extend free coaching scheme to OBC

first_imgNew Delhi: Buoyed by the success of its free coaching scheme ‘Jai Bhim Mukhyamantri Pratibha Vikas Yojana’, the AAP government has decided to extend it to needy students from general category and other backward classes. Thirty-five underprivileged students, who got free coaching under the scheme, have cracked the JEE Main and NEET examination this year. Five of them have secured admissions to leading technical and medical institutions such as Lady Hardinge College, IIT-Delhi, Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, National Institute of Technology Delhi and Banaras Hindu University. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam told PTI that the government was considering extending the scheme to needy students belonging to OBC and general category. “At present, selected students are availing free coaching for four months. The Delhi government bears all expenses, up to Rs 50,000 per student. We are considering increasing this amount to Rs 1.5 lakh and the course duration to 12 months,” the minister added. Of the 107 students who got free coaching for engineering and medical entrance exams under the scheme, 13 have been declared successful in the JEE Main and 22 in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). Under the scheme, launched by the AAP dispensation last year, as many as 4,953 students enrolled for availing coaching for various exams, including those conducted by the UPSC, SSC, banks, Railway Recruitment Board, Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board and insurance companies in 2018-19, the minister said.last_img read more

Book Review Leeza Gibbons Take 2 Your Guide To Happy Endings And

first_imgLeeza Gibbons is no stranger to new beginnings, and in her new book – Take 2: Your Guide To Happy Endings and New Beginnings – she explains just how you can take control and live life to your rules.Leeza Gibbons Take 2“If you could hit the reset button and start over, would you? I did and I’ve found anytime is a good time for a re-do! That’s why I am so excited to tell you about the release of my brand new book, Take 2: Your Guide to Creating Happy Endings and New Beginnings,” she says about Take 2. “This is more than a book to me. It’s a chance for me to share my life and the lessons I have learned with you in hopes that you’ll be inspired, encouraged and empowered enough to realize that if this is not the life you ordered, you can always call for a TAKE 2!”Known for her work as TV host extraordinaire and founder of the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, Leeza has led a fascinating life that has twisted and turned as she constantly reinvented herself. And in Take 2, Leeza leads us through some of the decisions that peppered her journey from a small town in South Carolina to superstardom in Hollywood, from devoted mother and wife to Alzheimer’s caregiver. Along the way she recounts encounters with Olivia Newton-John, Jamie Lee Curtis, Maria Shriver, Jessica Biel and many other stars she was able to draw inspiration from.“The book is really for anyone who wants to head in a new direction,” she says. “If you got divorced, depressed, fired or maybe you’ve gained weight – I’ll help you begin again. If you feel stuck or if you’ve just lost your way, TAKE 2 will help you get back on track and will remind you that this is YOUR life and it should be lived by YOUR rules!”Primarily aimed at women, Take 2 is also an important read for men who want to reboot their lives, or feel the need to better understand their partners. It is a book that can be read from cover-to-cover or dipped into on days when life is just not going the way you planned it. And with sections on change, how to look and feel good, and letting the spirit soar, Take 2 is a book that massages the soul and shows you how to live life by your rules.Leeza Gibbon’s Take 2 can be ordered at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.Copyright ©2013Look to the Starslast_img read more

Broken Legal Aid Alberta refused to pay for intellectually challenged womans appeal

first_imgJorge Barrera APTN National NewsCALGARY — The Alberta Court of Appeal in Calgary on Thursday ordered the province’s Attorney General to pay for an intellectually challenged woman’s successful appeal of a murder conviction because the legal aid agency refused to foot the bill on grounds the case had no merits.It took the Court of Appeal’s three Justices, Peter Martin, Patricia Rowbotham and Brian O’Ferrall, mere minutes to arrive at the ruling in favour of Deborah Hatch, the Edmonton lawyer who took on the case of Wendy Scott, a 31 year-old Medicine Hat, Alta., resident who pleaded guilty to the 2011 murder of Casey Armstrong, 48. Scott was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years.“For (Legal Aid Alberta) to say there is no merit to the appeal in the face of all they know is completely outrageous,” said Hatch, in an interview following the hearing. “It shows you we have a Legal Aid system that is very broken right now.”The same court last week ordered a new trial for Scott after the Crown conceded the facts presented to the original trial judge did not support her guilty plea for second degree murder. Scott is now scheduled to appear before the Court of Queen’s Bench for arraignment on Nov. 19 in Medicine Hat, Alta.Crown orders new trial for Wendy ScottScott was one of two women convicted of Armstrong’s murder. Both cases were handled by Medicine Hat Crown Andrea Dolan. Dolan relied exclusively on Scott’s testimony to build a case against co-accused Connie Oakes, a Cree woman from Nekaneet First Nation who is also appealing her murder conviction.Click here to follow Connie Oakes storyScott testified that she travelled with Oakes to Armstrong’s trailer in a red car and watched her kill the man with a knife. Scott has since stated in an affidavit filed as part of Oakes’ appeal that she doesn’t believe Oakes was at the scene of the murder.Scott also named three other people as being responsible for the murder during interrogations with Medicine Hat police.Wendy Scott in an undated photoScott has an intellectual disability and has been assessed by a psychiatrist of having an IQ of 50.Hatch said Scott is aware that she will get a new trial.“You can imagine that the entire scenario is a pretty crushing situation,” said Hatch. “(Scott) understands that that is happening. I think she is relieved at this point. It is obviously very stressful to go through this.”Hatch worked Scott’s case pro bono after Legal Aid Alberta refused to cover the appeal on grounds the case had no merit. Hatch took the issue to the appeals court after the Crown agreed to only pay Legal Aid’s rate.Hatch said it’s baffling Legal Aid continued to stick to its position even after the conviction was quashed and a new trial ordered.“I think the court is recognizing here that the appeal has merit, the conviction has been overturned. You couldn’t have an appeal that has more merit than that. As I said in court, I have never seen the Crown concede an appeal, agree a conviction should be quashed when there is no merit to it,” said Hatch.Wendy Scott’s lawyer, Deborah Hatch in Calgary. Photo: Jorge Barrera/APTNHatch said Legal Aid has insisted that it is abiding by its own legal opinions on the case.“All I can tell you is that they said, ‘The opinions we have on file with the exception of your own have clearly indicated that they felt the appeal was without merit,” said Hatch, reading from a letter sent to her by Legal Aid.One of the legal opinions relied on by Legal Aid came from Scott’s trial lawyer Maggie O’Shaughnessy, according to an affidavit filed by Scott with the court.O’Shaughnessy did not respond to a request for comment.Legal Aid Alberta sent a statement to APTN saying privacy laws prevented the agency from commenting on the case.Legal Aid, however, is paying for a lawyer to represent Scott to oppose APTN National News’ application to obtain videos of Scott’s police interrogations which were filed in during trial as exhibits for information. Scott’s Legal Aid-appointed counsel Maureen McConaghy is also fighting the release of video portions that were played in open court during Oakes’ trial.Hatch said she doesn’t understand why Legal Aid, at Scott’s request, agreed to pay for the intervention in APTN’s case while refusing to pay for her appeal.“Nobody has given me any explanation about why you would grant coverage to deal with an application for access to exhibits and not cover somebody to appeal a conviction that could keep them incarcerated for life,” said Hatch. “Don’t get me wrong that the media component is not important, but I think you know a conviction for murder is as significant as it gets.”Scott, who pleaded guilty to second degree murder on Nov. 8, 2012, began her struggle with Legal Aid in 2013. After calling around in British Columbia, where she was initially held after sentencing, and Alberta Legal Aid’s regional offices in Lethbridge, Alta., and Medicine Hat, Alta., she finally formally applied for coverage on Sept. 12, 2013, according to one of her affidavits filed in court as part of her appeal.“It is hard to make applications to Legal Aid when you are in jail and cannot meet with someone in person. It is also hard when it is confusion to know who to speak to,” said Scott, in the affidavit.Scott stated in the affidavit that “corrections personnel” told her she may have been wrongfully convicted for murder. Scott said she was told to contact Kim Pate, the executive Director of Elizabeth Fry Societies, who referred her to Montreal lawyer Lucie Joncas, an expert in the field of criminal law and mental health. Joncas met with Scott and put her in touch with Hatch.Scott stated in one of her affidavits that Legal Aid received an opinion from her trial lawyer on June 23, 2014. The next month Legal Aid told her she would not get coverage for her appeal.Without the twist of fate that led Scott to Pate, she would still be sitting at the Philippe-Pinel psychiatric institution in Montreal staring down the barrel of a life sentence.“There was a team of people that worked for Ms. Scott here, but it shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of people to do this routinely without any pay,” said Hatch. “I think we all recognize that if we have a system with one side getting paid, the prosecution side, and the defence working for free, that is really not sustainable and you are going to have a lot of miscarriages of justice if you allow it to continue, most especially when you have vulnerable accused persons.”Hatch said Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s government needs to urgently fix the province’s Legal Aid system.“I think that probably it is fair to say that all defence counsel and all prosecutors too are hopeful that changes are made to the legal aid system and hopefully that happens quickly,” said Hatch.Under the previous Progressive Conservative provincial government there was ample evidence of the Justice Minister actively directing decisions to the Legal Aid board on things like what programs to keep and discard. The previous provincial government also cut Legal Aid funding for trial experts.“I don’t think anyone who is having counsel appointed through Legal Aid would want to understand that the system is not independent and that the same party that instructs the Crown is providing instruction to legal aid,” said Hatch.Alberta Justice and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kathleen Ganley. Photo: Brandi Morin/APTNJustice Minister and Attorney General Kathleen Ganley said in a statement sent to APTN she could not comment on the specifics of the Scott case because it is still before the courts. Ganley stated the government is working to fix the system in the short and long term.“Our government is committed to ensuring Legal Aid is available to low-income and vulnerable Albertans. We know it is essential to promoting access to justice,” said Ganley in the statement. “In the short-term, we’re working on solutions to help stabilize it. In the long-term we’re working with Legal Aid to determine what the best process is to move forward and ensure the services are there for those who need them most.”jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Morocco’s ‘Autos & Renewables’ Among Top 6 Sectors to Watch in…

Casablanca – Fitch Group’s research firm BMI published a study on sectors in MENA that should outperform in the coming years albeit the mild macroeconomic outlook for the region.According to the study, the region should grow at a mild growth rate of 2.5% per annum over the next decade below an average growth rate of 3.7% per annum yielded over the previous one.According to BMI research, “bright spots remain and several sectors are set for particularly strong growth”. Among the top six sectors to add to one’s watch list, is UAE’s infrastructure sector, which should benefit from substantial investment flows into Dubai’s and Abu Dhabi’s transport, energy and tourism sectors. Furthermore, Dubai will host the World Expo 2020, which should also spur the construction sector. BMI foresees UAE’s construction sector value to reach AED 330.25 billion by 2026 vs. AED 177.88 forecasted for 2017. In addition, in the UAE, BMI believe that the healthcare sector should benefit from increased pharmaceutical sales, which should account for 0.76% of GDP by 2021 vs. 0.65% in 2015. According to the paper, there should be an increased preference for patented drugs mainly for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and oncology among other therapeutic areas.The third sector that should perform well is the luxury sector in Iran thanks to a booming middle class and of course, the removal of economic sanctions which boost significantly the per capita consumer-spending outlook. In Egypt, natural gas production should soar during the coming years to stand at 66.5 bcm by 2010 vs. 44.3 bcm in 2015.In Morocco, two sectors were selected by BMI as top sectors in the MENA region with a strong potential over the next decade:First, the Autos sector with “vehicle production and net-exports to grow by an annual average of 18.5% and 24.8%, respectively over 2017-2021” thanks to many auto manufacturers attracted to Morocco for its logistical ties to Europe, West- and North-Africa, as well as the government’s pro-investment stance and political stability.Second, the Power and Renewables sector with Morocco’s efforts to use imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a feedstock; and with Morocco heading towards becoming one of “the best markets for non-hydropower renewables investment in the MENA region over the coming decade”.In 2016, natural gas accounted for 17% of total power generation in Morocco, while non-hydropower renewables accounted for 8%. BMI forecasts non-hydropower renewables generation to stand at 5.845 TWh by 2021 vs. 2.152 TWh in 2015. read more

Shelter remains top priority in UN quake relief in Pakistan

At the same time, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said there is just a three-week window of opportunity to deliver assistance to mountainous quake-hit areas before the first snowfall. In addition, severe weather, with heavy rain, is forecast to hit the area in the next three to four days.So far, the official death toll is more than 51,000 and the number of injured more than 74,000. These numbers are expected to increase still further. Thousands of people remain isolated in remote valley areas. Exact numbers remain unknown and the humanitarian community and Government are focusing on determining how many people still need to be reached, OCHA added.The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which over the weekend sent in 1,500 tents, 4,500 blankets, 2,200 plastic sheets, 3,000 jerry cans and 700 kitchen sets to affected areas in Balakot, Batagram and Muzaffarabad, is aiming to set up a secure camp environment for around 500,000 of those made homeless.”Newcomers are arriving every day. Some of them are from the local areas but many of them have come from as far as Muzaffarabad after hearing about aid in Balakot,” Blasé Kojcevsky, a camp manager in UNHCR’s emergency team in Balakot, said.In all, more than 15,000 UNHCR family tents, 220,000 blankets, some 70,000 plastic sheets, 15,000 kitchen sets, 31,000 jerry cans, 2,000 stoves and 5,000 lanterns are being rushed to Pakistan for the relief effort. The agency already had an additional 4,700 tents in Pakistan when the earthquake struck.OCHA said shelter remained the overriding priority, both for homeless families and patients admitted to field medical facilities. Although 62,000 tents overall have already been delivered and some 200,000 tents will be in country by the start of the winter, they will shelter less than half the homeless families, and will not cover the needs of field hospitals for post-operative patients, it added.Moreover, approximately 50 per cent of the mountainous terrain is unsuitable for tents. Other creative solutions are being worked on, using local knowledge and available materials.”Having to wait days for basic medical assistance or undergoing operations and treatment in poorly equipped or partially-destroyed hospitals has increased the rate of life-threatening infections and gangrene,” OCHA said. “The breakdown of safe water supplies and sanitation has also increased the risk of diarrhoeal diseases and other outbreaks.”Nearly 500,000 people have received UN World Food Programme (WFP) high-energy food rations. Food supplies are now reaching the main hubs, and then moved on to remote locations by mule or on foot, or are collected by survivors and taken home.But over 1 million people still need food. Affected communities generally have some food stocks, as they are normally accumulated for winter. But without proper shelter, these stocks will be destroyed or will deteriorate, OCHA warned. With disrupted roads, it is difficult or impossible for many affected people to replace supplies through regular means. read more

Buju Banton live in concert on May 25

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBuju Banton urges youth to stay away from violenceMay 28, 2019In “Entertainment”Buju Banton’s first performance set for Jamaica, DJ Khaled visitsDecember 19, 2018In “Entertainment”CJIA records over 31,000 arrivals in MayJune 9, 2019In “Business” Reggae Super star Buju Banton is confirmed to perform in Guyana on May 25, 2019 as part of the Independence Carnival Celebrations.Over the past couple days, much excitement has been generated after a few popular social media sites leaked information that Buju Banton is expected to perform in Guyana in May.Buju BantonAfter seeing how excited Guyanese were to see Buju, High Frequency Entertainment in collaboration with King Leo Promotion and the Guyana Carnival Committee decided that it is a great opportunity to make Guyana a part of the ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ tour.Buju Banton, who’s ‘Long Road to Freedom’ tour was announced late last year, listed many countries in the Caribbean, such as, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St. Kitts, Suriname, Grenada and his home country of Jamaica; finally, Guyana is on that list.Banton, who has always referred to Guyana as one of his favourite countries to perform in the Caribbean, has not performed here for over 12 years, however, he will return with his full band to give his Guyanese fans a long overdue and highly anticipated concert.The reggae superstar is known for hits such as, ‘untold stories’, ‘wanna be loved’, ‘champion’, ‘deportees’, ‘not an easy road’ and much more.Tickets went on sale on Wednesday via the internet. General Admission tickets cost US$25 while the VIP tickets cost US$150 and the VVIP tickets will be available at a cost of US$200 each.  For those who wish to purchase their tickets online, you can go to IAMLEGENDCONCERT.COM/I-AM-LEGEND-GUYANA/Stay tuned to our social media sites @guyanacarnival and our website www.guyanacarnival592.com for more details. read more

Inside the life of Zaila Sugrim who suffered 15 years of

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMan charged with murder of ex-wife Zaila SugrimMay 20, 2019In “Court”Body of missing woman found in shallow graveMay 14, 2019In “Crime”MP urges abused women to seek helpMay 28, 2019In “Crime” Zalia SugrimZaila Sugrim, 37, suffered some 15 years of abuse from her husband, Ryan Sugrim, with whom she had five children.Her body was yesterday found in a shallow grave in the backyard of her husband’s home at Crane, West Coast Demerara (WCD).In 2018, Sugrim had finally mustered up the courage to leave her husband, the owner of a Shell Gas Station, which is located in front of the house where they lived.The estranged husband has since confessed to killing the woman; he remains in police custody.The pair met at the University of Guyana (UG) and in 2004, they tied the knot, in what was described as a joyous and grand ceremony.However, shortly after, their relationship rapidly deteriorated.According to Sugrim’s brother, Ahmad Haniff, it all went downhill when his sister’s husband attacked their father.Ahmad HaniffHe explained that there was a disagreement between his sister and her husband, which led to the man allegedly chopping Kalam Ahmad (their father) to his head.The relationship between the families were strained thereafter, resulting in the husband banning his wife from seeing her family. The family was also banned from visiting.However, some 15 years later, Haniff recalled receiving a call from someone claiming to be his sister. He was in disbelief as he had not heard from his sister in years.“She contacted we by phone and we didn’t even know it was her, we had to ask she certain questions and then we realise that it was her,” he explained.Sugrim was calling from a hospital bed, where she was recovering after being severely beaten by her husband. The incident had occurred on December 14, 2018 – and it was her last straw.The matter was reported to the Police and her husband was arrested and charged. He was taken before the Leonora Magistrate’s Court after he was charged for unlawfully and maliciously causing grievous bodily harm to Sugrim.The woman who was present at the hearing had expressed fear for her life. However, in a bail application at the time, the suspect’s attorney informed the court that he was the sole breadwinner for his five children and he was granted bail on the condition that he stays 100 feet away from Sugrim.Following the incident, the woman had moved in with her brother. Not being able to provide for her children, she gave up custody to the suspect. She was however allowed to visit her children.Residents at the scene of the crimeIt was on Saturday last (May 11, 2019), Sugrim left her brother’s Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD) house where she had been living for the last eight months, to be picked up by her estranged husband to visit the businessman’s home where she was expected to celebrate the birthday of her eldest child.However, the 14-year-old child reported that she did not see nor hear from her mother.By nightfall, Sugrim’s family became worried since it was very unusual for her not to call if she was out for long periods.“In the afternoon like around six o’clock I get worried because she does normally call me and she and I coming home lil late or I might not come home… so when I see six o’clock, I calling she phone, she phone turn off, I call me sista, me brother them and so, father, everybody saying that no, them aint hear from she… at around 10, 11 the night, I keep calling no response,” her brother explained.On Sunday morning, the worried man visited the Diamond Police Station where he filled a missing persons’ report. In the company of several Police Officers, a visit was made to his sister’s estranged husband’s home, where the man was uncooperative, but nonetheless informed Haniff and the Police that he did not see Zaila nor does he want anything to do with her.After realising that something was amiss, the suspect’s children reportedly inspected CCTV footage of the home but a particular time period was deleted.This was reported to Sugrim’s relatives, who in turn informed Police ranks. This led to ranks swooping down on the suspect’s La Grange, West Bank Demerara (WBD) property where a search was carried out, however, nothing was found.After relatives made additional reports on Monday at the Diamond Police Station, another group of ranks swooped down on the suspect’s Crane home.After a search of the suspect’s motorcar, it was then that the Police received a break in the case after blood was spotted in the car’s trunk. This prompted Police to arrest the suspect and impound the car.After much interrogation, the suspect finally broke down and confessed that he indeed killed his estranged wife and led Police to where he buried the body, which was buried in a shallow grave.Priya Manickand at the scene of the crimeAt the scene of the crime, the woman’s five children were crying uncontrollably. They had to be consoled by Priya Manickchand, the attorney who was helping their mother escape from her abusive marriage.“She was really trying to get out of this abusive relationship, that was abusive for many years that she had allegedly against the person they have in custody right now, which was her husband and that is where I was representing her,” Manickchand explained.Babita SarjouThe situation is reminiscent of that of Babita Sarjou, a young woman who had left her mother’s home in November 2010 to spend time with her estranged husband and four-year-old son at the Diwali Motorcades.She was never seen or heard from since then and the case became cold. However, some six years later, the case was reopened and police found the woman’s decomposed body buried in a grave in the backyard of her estranged husband’s Campbellville home. read more

President to meet GECOM today

President David Granger is scheduled to meet with the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission along with the six Commissioners.The meeting is slated for this morning at the Ministry of the Presidency.This was confirmed by several commissioners.Reports suggest that the meeting is regarding the setting of a date for elections.The meeting comes just before the High Court rules on the challenge against the house-to-house registration exercise and before the Commission’s first meeting which is slated for August 15 – after the court ruling.In an invited comment, Opposition Leader Bharrat said the Opposition would also like a meeting with GECOM.“I am glad that the entire Commission is meeting with the President . As a holder of the constitutional office of Leader of the opposition I intend to request a meeting with the Commission . I expect the Chairperson and commissioners will want to hear our views too.”“As regards the President naming a date in mid December for elections (as reported by local news entity Demerara Waves) would mean that the President will be acting in flagrant disregard of the CCJ’s ruling and in violation of article 106 of our Constitution .“If this is true it would seem that it is designed to influence the use of what we know would be flawed list emerging from a rushed , unscrutinized house to house registration that will deregister tens of thousands of Guyanese voters . This will result in chaos in Guyana.”Jagdeo posited that the Elections Commission should be guided “not by the unilateral action or unconstitutional desire of the President but by the primary law of our country.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPres. Granger hopes for GECOM’s position on early elections within a weekAugust 9, 2019In “latest news”Granger, Jagdeo exchange views on early electionsAugust 9, 2019In “latest news”Opposition Commissioners talk early elections with new GECOM ChairJuly 31, 2019In “latest news” read more

SEHA Final4 Croatian derby and VardarMeshkov clash

SEHA Final4 2019 Regular season of the SEHA Gazprom League is over! RK Vardar Skopje ended at the first place which put EHF CL 2017 winners and reigning SEHA champions on the host of the Final4 tournament – Meshkov Brest, at semi-final.Meshkov Brest beat RK Nexe in Nasice 29:26, but that didn’t prevent them of taking the fourth place at the end of regular season.HC Tatran Presov beat RK PPD Zagreb 29:28 in away match. This means that handball fans will enjoy in Croatian derby between RK Zagreb and RK Nexe at second semi-final.SEHA Final4 will be held on April 2/3 in Brest, Belarus. ← Previous Story William Accambray is on Cesson Rennes target Next Story → Anti leaves HBC Nantes in 2020 – Start of Entrerrios’ era? read more

SIPTU escalates plans for AllIreland train strikes

first_imgUpdated: 7.10 pmSIPTU HAS THREATENED additional industrial action which would bring to five the number of days affected by train strikes in August and September.According to a statement this evening, the union has added 7, 8 and 21 September as proposed days of work stoppages.The new dates for industrial action (for both SIPTU and NBRU) are now as follows:Sunday 24 August (All-Ireland football semi-final)Monday 25 AugustSunday 7 September (All-Ireland hurling final)Monday 8 SeptemberSunday 21 September (All-Ireland football final)SIPTU Organiser Paul Cullen these evening announced:The SIPTU Rail Committee today decided to issue Irish Rail with notice of two further work stoppages if the company follows through on its stated intention to implement pay cuts without agreement. These work stoppages are in addition to industrial action scheduled to begin on Sunday, 24 August, with workers implementing a ‘work to rule’ action, and a 24-hour work stoppage beginning at 12.01 am on Monday, 25th.The National Bus and Railworkers Union (NBRU) had already announced they would be taking industrial action on 24-25 August, as well as 7 and 21 September, with SIPTU joining them on 25 August.Today’s proposals, however, mean that SIPTU workers at Irish Rail will now also be striking on Sunday, 7 September (the day of the All-Ireland hurling final) and Sunday, 21 September (All-Ireland football final day).SIPTU has also added Monday, 8 September as a work stoppage day.Read: Union boss – All-Ireland day strikes will go ahead, despite what Paschal Donohoe says>Strike by Irish Rail workers to hit All-Ireland semi and finals>last_img read more

Turkey has the ability to launch missile attack on Athens reports Yeni

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram An article in Turkey’s pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak outlines what would happen in the case that Greece and Turkey were at war. It concludes that Greece would not be able to win a war without assistance from other forces and hence, dismisses so-called ‘provocative statements’ by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras as being in the context of the general election campaign.The article quotes military experts who state that Turkey has the capability of striking with missiles beyond Athens in the event of a Greek-Turkish war. Defence policy analyst Turan Oguz is quoted in the article as saying that Turkey has the potential to hit Greek targets on the Aegean islands and can even reach the Athens CBD with its SOM and BORA missiles without a single casualty suffered on the Turkish side.The SOM cruise missile – first unveiled during a 100th anniversary celebration event of the Turkish Air Force at Cigli Air Base in Smyrna in 2011 – is a next-generation high precision cruise missile  that can be launched from land, sea and air and is designed to destroy both stationary and moving targets at a standoff distance of over 180 kilometres.  The BORA is a tactical ballistic missile that entered Turkey’s service in May 2017. The improved BORA-2 is currently under development.Source: Yeni Safaklast_img read more