Fitter and Faster – Francis ready for 2016

first_imgJamaica’s 400m champion Javon Francis feels he is at his strongest and fastest this year as he hopes to challenge for a medal at the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil this summer.The 21-year-old quarter-miler opened his season on January 23, with a 46.19 run at the inaugural McKenley/Wint Track and Field Classic at his alma mater Calabar High School in Kingston, cruising home well ahead of the chasing pack.”It was the first time I had opened up so fast, usually I open at the Camperdown Classic (held in February) so I am very pleased with my time,” said Francis, who believes he is now stronger than he was last season when he ran a personal best 44.50.After winning the national championships later that month in 44.70, expectations were high that Francis would have been among the medal contenders at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China. He was, however, eliminated in the semi-finals having run 44.77 to be 12th fastest overall. He qualified for the semi-finals with a creditable run of 44.83.Despite some disappointment from his fans, Francis was quite pleased with his performance.At the national championships Francis suffered a groin injury during the 400m finals, and it prevented him from training for three to four weeks. He managed to get fit in time for Beijing, but he was not back at his best.”I never expected to run very fast because I was coming off an injury, so I was very pleased with my performance although I didn’t get a medal, but I benefited from the experience,” said the runner, who would later lead Jamaica to a fourth-place finish in the mile relay with a blistering 43.5-second anchor leg.”Last year people were saying I could go for the national record, but in my mind I always say records come and records go. Every time I go out to perform I go to win a medal,” Francis said.last_img read more

NWT and Nunavut negotiate over artifacts and storage

first_imgAPTN National NewsBefore Nunavut separated from the Northwest Territories, all of the artifacts were kepts at a museum in Yellowknife.Today, 16 years later, more than 140,000 pieces are still there.But this arrangement can’t last forever.And now Yellowknife is tired of holding onto them and Nunavut wants them back.But the problem is there’s nowhere in Nunavut to store them.Iman Kassam reports.last_img

Nova Scotia band wants to ban drug dealers from community

first_imgTrina Roache APTN National News A long time band councillor and former chief wants to ban drug dealers from his Mi’kmaq community in Nova Scotia.According to Alex McDonald, drug-related crimes in the Sipekne’Katik First Nation are getting worse and he wants action.“As a band government we need to step up and do something about it and stop being afraid and showing fear,” said McDonald. “Because I’m not the only councillor that had a problem.”At 2:00 am on March 2, McDonald woke up to his dog barking and his neighbor banging on his door. Someone had thrown a Molotov cocktail on his truck in the driveway. He panicked and ranoutside in his bare feet, throwing snow on the hood of his truck.“I’m glad that we had neighbors that heard the bottle hit the vehicle and came and told us because it would’ve been worse,” said McDonald. “It could’ve set the houses on fire and people would’ve beenhomeless including me and my family.”McDonald has no doubts why he was targeted.“It’s about drugs,” he said. “I’m against the drugs in the community. I like to see people clean up. It’s about, you know it’s about people trying to be a big king pin in our community.”The incident with McDonald’s truck follows on the heels of a violent home invasion two weeks ago and stories of tires getting slashed. Though, most people aren’t willing to come forward.“It has gotten worse,” said McDonald. “It’s just that people are quiet about it because they’re scared.”Darren Sylvester is a Mi’kmaq Constable with the RCMP. He said he’s worked in Sipekne’Katik for over five years – and from a policing perspective, the drug problems haven’t gotten better or worse overthat time.“I find when it seems like it’s a big concern when certain people are affected,” said Sylvester.But he said he isn’t downplaying the drug problem. For the most part, the drugs of choice on reserve here are prescription pills, cocaine and marijuana. No signs of the lethal fentanyl yet.McDonald has been critical of the RCMP.“The police are not doing their job,” he said. “They’re not arresting anybody, they’re not doing raids on homes. They know who the dope pushers are.”While stories about who’s pushing and who’s slashing tires as payback make the rounds in the community, Sylvester said police need more than that.“The thing is, as police officers, we don’t just act on rumours and stuff that we hear on Facebook,” said Sylvester. “We need good information for us to actually do something about the drug problem in thecommunity.”That can be challenging in a relatively small reserve where everyone knows each other.“A lot of people are scared to speak up, they’re scared to be labelled as a rat,” said Sylvester. “And in smaller communities, word gets around and if they are labelled as a rat, things could happen to themfor speaking out.”And that is exactly why Alex McDonald wants the band to take action by banning anyone charged with drug related offences from the reserve.“It sucks that you have to kick people out of your community but sometimes it has to happen,” said McDonald. “Other communities have done it and they had good results.”On Tuesday, chief and council had their regular meeting and talked at length about options for banning drug dealers from the reserve. No answers just yet.Some people in Sipekne’Katik, not willing to talk on the record, told APTN that they weren’t sure a ban was the way to go and preferred a more positive emphasis on programs.McDonald pointed out that there’s already programs and services offered through the health centre and the Native Alcohol and Drug Association.“But when you have someone always pushing drugs in the community, who has other individuals drug dealing for him, it’s hard,” said McDonald. “It’s hard for anybody who has an addiction problem to get away from the drugs if it’s always in their face.”“What is needed is for the community and the police to work together,” said Sylvester, driving through the reserve in his patrol car.Sylvester doesn’t paint a negative picture of the community, though, or his role in it. “Indian Brook’s a great place to work a lot of great people here. It’s too bad there’s a drug problem.”He said part of policing is making arrests. But an important aspect is working with the community and engaging with Mi’kmaq youth. He points to the on-reserve school as he drives.“We’ll bring in the RCMP and we’ll play sports with the students just to get them familiar with who the police officers are and to have that trust with the police,” said Sylvester. “So they’re able to speak with them when they have to go somewhere for help.”McDonald wants a solution that’s more immediate and feels banning drug dealers or anyone charged with a violent crime is the way to go.“A lot of people are tired of the violence, tired of people preying on their family members, on their children, given their family drugs getting them addicted and then getting them to do the dirty work,” said McDonald.He’s confident that the council will step up and ban drug dealers. But isn’t sure when it will happen, or what exactly the band council resolution might look like. The band is currently having its legal team look at what options might work best.troache@aptn.calast_img read more

From UserGen to Widgets to Wikis Tech Talk Dominates McGrawHills Media Summit

first_imgAfter lunch, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia president and CEOSusan Lyne spoke about how MSLO has employed what it calls a “360-degree sales approach” and has diversified across all its platforms. “We have teams of experts in the separate categories we cover that come up with the ideas and generate the content for all of the company’s platforms—from print to online to radio to TV,” Lyne said. “We can use this content in a number of ways, and it enables us to touch our consumer one more time.” NEW YORK—From user-generated content to blogs to widgets to Wikis, new technologies in all facets of media were the focus of conversation Wednesday during the first day of the McGraw-Hill Companies’ 2008 Media Summit.“Figuring out how to move content or media on to new technology platforms is probably, next to creating high-quality experience as content, is probably the most important thing we can do,” Walt Disney Company president and CEO Robert Iger said during the morning keynote speech. Co-sponsors BusinessWeek and Standard & Poor’s were expecting about 1,000 attendees over the two-day event.“Most classic brand managers look at technology almost with a deep-rooted aversion,” Iger continued. “[Technology] typically enables competition for brands, and it changes consumer behavior, and if you’re a brand manager you don’t really want consumer behavior to change, you want them to continue consuming your brand. People take a protectionist view toward technology when they’re brand managing. I actually felt that being a projectionist, or projecting the brand versus protecting the brand, using technology was the right thing to do.”Session topics—all in regards to new media technologies—ranged from rights management to advertising accountability and legal issues. “Look at your kids and people in their twenties; they’re not going to newspapers, they’re not going to print for their news anymore,” said Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Julia Wallace during a morning panel discussion. “We’re seeing our audiences transfer online and to other media. We’re having to change our business models. These are interesting times.”last_img read more