Court questions Assam’s jumbo transport to Gujarat

first_imgThe Gauhati High Court on Monday asked Assam’s Chief Wildlife Warden Ranjana Gupta whether she had taken note of a 2016 Supreme Court order against transfer of elephants while clearing the transit of four juvenile elephants to Gujarat for a religious event.Hearing separate petitions filed by Kerala-born Canadian Sangita Iyer and Guwahati-based NGO Avinava Prayash, a division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice Manish Choudhury sought clarification from the Centre with regard to the operation of the apex court’s interim order in 2016 prohibiting transfer of elephants outside a State by their possessors.The Bench also asked Ms. Gupta to clarify whether she had taken note of the Supreme Court’s interim order when she authorised on June 12 the transit of the elephants to Ahmedabad’s Jagannath Temple for a Rath Yatra on July 4.The oldest of the four elephants — females Joytara and Rani, and males Babulal and Rupsing — is nine years old. ‘Will not survive trip’Wildlife activists had argued that these juvenile elephants would not survive the heatwave while travelling in a metal railway wagon 3,106 km from eastern Assam’s Tinsukia to Ahmedabad.Noting that the railways too had sought clarification on the Supreme Court’s interim order before transporting the elephants, the Bench referred to the March 8 letter of the Project Elephant Division of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change seeking legal steps for the “welfare of the captive elephants, etc., and strict monitoring” to prevent illegal transport of elephants between States.The petitioners’ counsel Bhaskar Dev Konwar, argued that the elephants would face adverse climatic conditions during their train journey to Gujarat.He also pointed out that unlike Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Assam has not framed rules for management and maintenance of captive elephants under Section 64(2) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. He also contended that none of the elephants sent outside Assam on temporary leases have returned till date. The case is scheduled to come up for hearing again on Tuesday.last_img read more

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Former No. 1 Andy Roddick announces he’ll retire after US Open

first_imgThe 2003 champion at Flushing Meadows and former No. 1-ranked player decided to walk away from the sport whenever his U.S. Open ends, making the surprise announcement at a news conference on Thursday, his 30th birthday. “I’ll make this short and sweet: I’ve decided that this is going to be my last tournament,” said Roddick, wearing a black T-shirt and baseball cap with his clothing sponsor’s logos. “I just feel like it’s time. I don’t know that I’m healthy enough or committed enough to go another year,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event.” The 20th-seeded Roddick is scheduled to play 19-year-old Bernard Tomic of Australia in the second round Friday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium. “I think I wanted an opportunity to say goodbye to people, as well. I don’t know how Saturday going to go, and I hope it goes well, and I’m sticking around,” Roddick said. He was, by turns, in reflective and joking moods while speaking to reporters about his decision. “If I do run into some emotions tomorrow or in four days, I don’t want people to think I’m a little unstable. Or more unstable,” Roddick said with a chuckle. “So that’s why I came to this decision.”His title in New York nine years ago was the last time an American man won a Grand Slam singles title, and Roddick spoke wistfully – as he often has in the past – about coming to the U.S. Open with his parents as a present when he turned 8.advertisementHe said he’s “been thinking about (retirement) for a little bit,” and knew for sure that the time now after his 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 first-round victory over 21-year-old American Rhyne Williams on Tuesday.”I’ve thought all year that I would know when I got to this tournament,” he said, “and when I played the first round, I knew.” In addition to winning his U.S. Open trophy, Roddick also played in four other Grand Slam finals – three at Wimbledon and one at the U.S. Open, losing to 17-time major champion Roger Federer each time. That included a 16-14 defeat in the fifth set at the All England Club in 2009, when Roddick was saluted by spectators who chanted his name at the end of the match. Buoyed by a booming serve – he used to hold the record of 155 mph – and big forehand, Roddick is 610-212 (a .742 winning percentage) with 32 titles, including two this year at Atlanta and Eastbourne, England. He also helped the United States end a 12-year David Cup drought by winning the 2007 title. “Look, he’s been our best player for many, many years. Do we love to have a guy like that out there? Sure. Was it great that he’s American? Sure,” said U.S. Tennis Association CEO Gordon Smith. “We could use another dozen Andy Roddicks, and we’re grateful for all he’s meant to American tennis, to the Davis Cup, to the U.S. Open.”Roddick’s announcement came one day after four-time major champion Kim Clijsters played the last singles match of her career, a second-round loss to Laura Robson at Flushing Meadows.”I haven’t done this before. I’m sure it’ll be very emotional. I’m sure I’ll still be nervous,” Roddick said, looking ahead to facing Tomic. “I don’t know.”He’s been dealing with a series of injuries over the past few seasons, and in February dropped out of the top 20, then slid to No. 34 in March, his lowest ranking since 2001.A hurt right hamstring forced Roddick to retire during his second-round match at the Australian Open in January, and he lost in the first round at the French Open and third round at Wimbledon.”With the way my body feels, with the way that I’m able to feel like I’m able to compete now, I don’t know that it’s good enough,” Roddick explained. “I don’t know that I’ve ever been someone who’s interested in `existing’ on tour. I have a lot of interests and a lot of other things that excite me. I’m looking forward to those.”He mentioned the youth tennis and learning center that his foundation is building in his hometown of Austin, Texas, and a radio show he appears on. The latter would seem to be a natural second career for Roddick, known for a sharp, often sarcastic, wit. He’s never been shy about showing his emotions on the court – whether tossing a racket or insulting a chair umpire or line judge – or sharing his opinions off it.advertisementRoddick grew up in the spotlight and the world watched him morph from a brash, Gen-X kid with plenty of `tude to something of an elder statesman in the game.He has spoken out about tennis players perhaps needing a union to fight for their rights the way athletes in U.S. team sports do, and he emerged as a mentor to younger Americans.Up-and-coming players such as Sam Querrey and Ryan Harrison have thanked Roddick publicly for his help, whether it’s offering advice about dealing with life on tour or inviting them to come train with him in Austin.”I was a little shocked. I think he kept it a very good secret,” the 20-year-old Harrison said about Roddick’s retirement.”Honestly, there were a lot of things he taught me, but probably the most important thing on the tennis front was the consistency of every day – every day, working, being out there, putting in time and effort. It’s 100 percent. … If you’re going to do it halfway, there’s no point in doing it at all. That’s what he taught me,” Harrison added. “That’s what he’s done throughout his career and that’s what he’s all about.”Constantly confronted with questions about why his generation wasn’t as successful as previous groups of American men – like Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi in the 1990s, or John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors before that – Roddick did his best to keep adapting his game to try to keep up with Federer, in particular, as well as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.He improved his fitness. He added a better backhand. He worked on his volleys.Eventually, though, he found it too hard to stay at the level he once reached.”I don’t know that I want to disrespect the game by coasting home,” Roddick said. “I had plans to play a smaller schedule next year. But the more I thought about it, I think you’ve either got to be all in or not. That’s more kind of the way I’ve chosen to do things.”last_img
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Jennifer Podemski was frustrated with the lack of Indigenous stories on our

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Podemski has since produced various projects — from the TV show Moccasin Flats to the film Empire of Dirt and the upcoming doc series Future History — while continuing her acting career, and mentoring and training other Indigenous artists.Her body of work as well as her advocacy will be recognized Saturday as she receives an Award of Excellence at the ACTRA Awards in Toronto.While Podemski said she’s encouraged by the opportunities arising for Indigenous actors and storytellers in Canada these days — with the creation of the Indigenous Screen Office and various government initiatives — she feels there’s more work to be done.“I flip-flop between being super encouraged and inspired, and devastated and frustrated at the state of affairs when it comes to Indigenous stories, and how the mainstream is opening its doors or not opening its doors to the storytellers,” said Podemski, whose film credits include a starring role in Bruce McDonald’s Dance Me Outside.“I’ve been a producer for 20 years and if I was to look back at 20 years, yeah, things are easier today for me. But they’re not as easy as I thought they would be, with the amount of experience that I have.“The similarity that I make often is, ‘Wherever the women’s movement is, the Indigenous movement seems to be behind it.’”Podemski adds that she can relate to the current conversations around female representation in the screen industry.“That’s super important,” she said, “but the parallel story to that is that there is an entire community left out of the storytelling fabric of this entire country and it’s the people, the many, many nations that were here, that are from here.”Podemski has been acting and performing onstage since elementary school. In the late ’90s, she opened her first production company, Big Soul Productions, with Laura Milliken.The company produced projects including the TV series The Seventh Generation and Moccasin Flats.The Seventh Generation, which aired on APTN, was a way to combat “shame in our community,” and tell uplifting stories of triumph and those who overcame the odds, Podemski said.But they had trouble getting funding and had to create financial sponsorships around specific episodes.“At the time, we had a couple of thousand dollars per episode to make the show from a licence fee from APTN and we tried to pitch it to every single network in Canada,” Podemski recalled.“There were two things that we heard; one was, ‘Don’t you have your own network?’ and the other one was, ‘We did a native story last year.’”In 2005, Podemski started her own production company, Redcloud Studios Inc. Her upcoming Future History is about the reclamation of Indigenous knowledge through the eyes of two hosts.“As an actor, I want producers and network executives and writers to know that you don’t have to have a native storyline just to hire a native actor, but why is that such a deeply cemented reality for us?” said Podemski, whose recent acting credits include the series Hard Rock Medical, Cardinal and Private Eyes.“So if I had one wish that I could have (it would be to) just make everyone forget that somehow they had to construct often inaccurate storylines just to get that native storyline in there; we could play lots of different characters.“And then on the producing side, the content-creating side, I would say there is so much potential to create realities for Indigenous characters that are beyond expectation, and whether that’s in the sci-fi realm or the horror realm or comedy, romance, all these different genres.”VICTORIA AHEARN – The Canadian Press Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment About 20 years ago, Toronto-born screen star Jennifer Podemski was growing frustrated with a lack of work for Indigenous actors and storytellers such as herself. She took matters into her own hands by becoming a producer.“It was this mounting frustration and anger around the inequity, I suppose,” Podemski, who is of mixed First Nations and Israeli descent, said in a recent phone interview.“I specifically was frustrated with how native people and native stories were so far behind in terms of relevance and how often we saw them.”center_img Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisement Actress Jennifer Podemski, who is of mixed First Nations and Israeli descent, started her own production company after becoming frustrated with the lack of work for Indigenous actors and storytellers. (MARTA IWANEK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)last_img read more

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