Thousands share Indigenous ribbon skirt photos in solidarity with Sask. girl


TORONTO —
Thousands of Indigenous women around the world are sharing photos on social media in solidarity with a 10-year-old Canadian girl who was ridiculed for wearing a traditional ribbon skirt to school last month.

Isabella Kulak from the Cote First Nation attended a “formal day” at Kamsack Comprehensive Institute in Saskatchewan on the final day of class before the holidays. Other girls at the school were wearing what looked like store-bought dresses, she and her parents recounted on CTV News Channel Friday, but Isabella chose to wear one of her traditional, handmade ribbon skirts.

The Indigenous attire, which are often vibrantly coloured and feature ribbon-like patterns, mean many things to different women and are worn on a variety of occasions.

For Isabella, the skirts holds much power. “It represents strength, resilience, cultural identity and womanhood,” she told CTV News Channel on Friday. 

But in one moment that day, that power was taken from her, when a teaching assistant told Isabella that her skirt didn’t match her dress and wasn’t appropriate for a formal day. They pointed to another girl at the school in a dress suggesting Isabella wear something different next time. The school has since apologized to Isabella and her family.

When she went home that day, Isabella’s parents Lana and Chris noticed she seemed sad. Later that evening, she opened up to her mother about what happened.

“It really broke my heart and it brought back all kinds of emotions from when I was a little girl,” Lana told CTV News Channel. “I couldn’t believe that it was happening in this day and age to one of my children now. It was very heartbreaking.”

A Facebook group in support of Isabella has grown to more than 5,500 members since Dec. 30. In thousands of images posted to the page, Indigenous women and girls from across Canada and around the globe — from California to England — are seen showing off a variety of ribbon skirts. Some are simple designs, others intricate and floral. Some are playful. One woman posted a photo of her wearing an Edmonton Oilers skirt. Another young girl shared an image of her holding a baby Yoda doll in a matching ribbon skirt.

The incident has inspired a push for a “ribbon skirt day” later this month in the area. Isabella’s parents hope that the difficult moment for the family can turn into a positive lesson for others.

“These old mindsets and these old ways of thinking … people think there’s been a bunch of progress and maybe there has been, but not enough. We can always strive to do better,” said Chris. “I hope that all the support and showing of interest in this story will get people talking in a positive way about what happened and not a negative way so that we can change the course of this discussion that’s been happening for a very long time.”

The outpouring of support has already been a positive step.

“It felt very nice to know that I have lots of people supporting me around the world,” said Isabella, who has been getting personal messages of encouragement.​ 

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Brad Rawiller injured in race fall in Bunbury; Evie Girl suffers heart attack at Caulfield


Perth-based Victorian jockey Brad Rawiller faces another extended period on the sidelines, recovering from a suite of injuries sustained in a race fall at Bunbury.

Scans on Wednesday evening at Bunbury regional hospital confirmed a “couple fractures in my back”, broken ribs, a fractured “wing bone” (shoulder blade) and a collapsed lung.

The 42-year-old experienced jockey went down in Race 2 after his mount, Imprudent, blundered about 200m from the winning post.

Rawiller, who was thrown off as Imprudent jolted to the left, narrowly escaped being trodden on by a backmarker.

The 25-time Group 1 jockey, who most recently took out the Perth feature Winterbottom Stakes last year only weeks after his relocation, remained conscious through the ordeal.

Rawiller spent four months on the sidelines from October 2018 recovering from multiple neck and collarbone fractures, along with concussion, sustained in a horror fall at Cranbourne.

The 42-year-old jockey had rides at Pinjarra and Ascot on Thursday and Saturday respectively, but now will not be available.

GIRL’S SAD OUTCOME

Matt Laurie-trained mare Evie Girl could not be saved after collapsing at Caulfield during Race 5, having suffered a suspected heart attack.

The four-year-old daughter of Ocean Park went down about 200m from the finishing post as jockey Noel Callow was in the process of pulling up the distressed galloper.

Evie Girl went into the race as a fancied second favourite.

She settled towards the back of the field in the 1800m benchmark 64 and dropped out of contention as the speed quickened approaching the home bend.



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Mother of girl sexually assaulted by grandfather says ‘despicable crime’ is too horrifying for others to hear


The mother of an Adelaide girl sexually assaulted by her grandfather has told a court his “despicable crime” is too horrifying for people to hear and her family now lives isolated and silenced.

The man, who is a retired teacher and former church pastor, was found guilty last year of indecently assaulting his granddaughter when she was six years old.

The girl was at his home and in his care at the time of the offence.

The South Australian District Court heard her grandfather did not recall the historical offending but had accepted the judge’s verdict.

During sentencing submissions, the victim — who cannot be identified — told the court she was an impressionable young child at the time who did not know what was going on.

“The only reason I didn’t say anything then was for some reason I thought it was something that just happened,” she said.

“And you took advantage of that and that’s actually disgusting.

“I honestly think you’re pathetic for not saying guilty to the charges, since I’m 1,000 per cent sure you didn’t forget what happened.

“I know I’m related to you, but you aren’t family anymore and that changed a long time ago.”

Crime the ‘ultimate betrayal of trust’

The victim’s mother said she was shocked and horrified when she found out that a grandparent could commit such a crime.

“Seeking support from friends is near impossible as this crime … is too horrifying for others to hear,” she told the court.

“I’m also haunted thinking about how to save all the other children out there from this despicable crime.”

The victim’s father said he had now withdrawn from his extended family and had been let down by the man he should have trusted the most — his own father.

“This crime is the ultimate betrayal of trust that my father could possibly have committed to my daughter and me as his son,” he said.

“I don’t understand how he could have been so selfish; he has done something that can never be undone.

“If you imagine a beautiful vase, a precious family heirloom that is more valuable than any amount of money, he smashed it and it can’t be repaired and put back together.”

Man’s remorse ‘very late’, judge says

The man’s lawyer, Samuel McDonough, told the court home detention should be considered instead of jail because he had only committed the crime once and no longer had sexual function as a result of prostate cancer.

“That’s a permanent infirmity that goes to the heart of this offending, if he suffered from that medical condition at the time of the offending, this offending would not have been able to take place,” he said.

“Despite potentially thousands of hours of opportunity to offend again, it never occurred again.

“That is a relevant consideration and may put it somewhat at odds with the normal circumstances of this offending being committed.

“It’s a total affront to decency and we don’t think to say this isn’t a serious offence or that it won’t have serious impact, but to sentence [him] to prison is not your honour’s only option.”

Judge Adam Kimber SC said the man had written to him since the guilty verdict, saying he was “deeply remorseful”.

“His remorse has come very late in the piece,” he said.

“It’s still the case that he used a child in his care to advance his own sexual gratification … with whom everyone would agree there was a significant position of trust.

“It’s tragic to hear but, sadly not at all surprising that this has had a devastating impact upon the family unit.”

The man faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and will be sentenced at a later date.

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Anushka Sharma, Virat Kohli welcome baby girl


Kohli, who shared the news on Twitter, said both the baby and Sharma were healthy

Mumbai: Actor-producer Anushka Sharma and cricketer husband Virat Kohli on Monday announced the arrival of their first child, a baby girl.

Kohli, who shared the news on Twitter, said both the baby and Sharma were healthy.

 

“We are thrilled to share with you that we have been blessed with a baby girl this afternoon. We thank you all for your love, prayers and good wishes.

“Anushka and the baby are both healthy and we are feeling beyond blessed to start this new chapter of our lives. We hope that you can respect our privacy at this time. Love, Virat,” Kohli said in a statement.

Former cricketer RP Singh, badminton ace Saina Nehwal, and actors Angad Bedi and Rakul Preet Singh were among the first to congratulate the couple on becoming parents.

RP Singh welcomed Kohli to the “Father’s club”, adding “the greatest feeling of being a dad is even sweeter” when the first baby is a daughter.

 

“Many congratulations to the parents @AnushkaSharma @imVkohli ghar aai lakshmi (goddess Lakshmi has arrived)” wrote Bedi.

Sharma, who is also the co-founder of the banner Clean Slate Filmz, had a great 2020 work wise as two of her productions — Netflix film Bulbbul and Amazon Prime Video web series Paatal Lok — garnered favourable reviews from both audiences and critics.

As an actor, she last appeared in the 2018 film Zero, alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif.

Regarded as one of the best contemporary batsmen in the world, India cricket captain Kohli was recently granted paternity leave by the BCCI after the first Test against Australia.

 

“He will return after the first Test against Australia in Adelaide,” Board secretary Jay Shah had said in a press release in November.

Sharma and Kohli, both 32, recently celebrated their third wedding anniversary.

The couple first met on the sets of a commercial and dated for four years before getting married in a private ceremony in Italy on December 11, 2017.

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya retweeted Kohli’s tweet and extended his best wishes to the couple.

“Congratulations brother and @AnushkaSharma Welcome to parenthood. A big hug to the little one, who’ll give you happiness like you’ve never experienced before,” Pandya wrote.

 

Former India cricketer Suresh Raina took to Twitter and wrote that daughters are the “biggest blessing to those who are the luckiest!”

“Congratulations @anushkasharma @imVkohli and welcome to the wonderful world of parenting,” he wrote.

Actor Rahul Bose tweeted, “Many many congratulations. A happy day all around!”

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Fundraiser to help Evans Head girl hit by car



The local community has rallied around the family of the Evans Head girl who suffered serious injuries after being hit by a car on January 3.

Eva, 7, was flown to the Queensland Children’s hospital with serious injuries to her head and was in a coma for four days after the accident.

Leonie Bale, who created the Eva’s Road to Recovery campaign, said on the page that the funds would help ease the financial burden the family is facing.

“I have set up this page for anyone who wants to help out with the family’s stay while they have a lengthy hospital recovery ahead. Because a motor vehicle was involved they are unable to get government assistance for accommodation as it has to go through insurance which could take a very long time.”

Find the GoFundMe page here.

READ MORE: Child injured in serious accident in Evans Head



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Victorian girl dies after cliff fall in Tasmania


A Victorian girl has died after a 10-metre fall from a clifftop in remote bushland north-east of Hobart in Tasmania.

The 11-year-old was holidaying from Victoria with siblings when the incident occurred just after 2.20pm on Friday.

A rescue helicopter and local police and ambulance emergency services were deployed to the Sand River Conservation Area in Buckland, which is not accessible by road.

“It appears the child was walking along the edge of the clifftop when she slipped and fell,” a Tasmania Police statement read.

CPR was administered on the girl, but she died from her injuries at the scene.

The child’s parents were not with the group, it is understood, but Tasmania Police said her parents were informed on Friday afternoon.

“Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones at this difficult time,” the statement read.

Sand River is a popular spot for climbers, with sandstone crags used for bouldering between 10 to 30 metres high.

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Pippa Knight: Doctors can stop treating brain damaged girl, High Court rules | UK News


Doctors can stop providing life-support treatment to a five-year-old girl who is in a vegetative state, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Poole said it was not in Pippa Knight’s “best interests” to keep her on a ventilator.

The child’s mother, Paula Parfitt, is disappointed with the ruling and wants Court of Appeal judges to consider her daughter’s case, her lawyers said.

Image:
Pippa became unwell in December 2016

Pippa initially developed normally after being born in April 2015, but in December 2016 she became unwell and began to suffer seizures.

A rare condition was diagnosed – acute necrotising encephalopathy – which led to brain damage.

Specialists treating her at the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London advised that life-support treatment should end.

Hospital bosses asked Mr Justice Poole to rule that allowing Pippa to die would be lawful and in her best interests.

Paula Parfitt disagreed, and wanted Pippa to be placed on a portable ventilator and taken home.

The judge, who heard evidence in the Family Division of the High Court in December, ruled on Friday that life-support treatment should end and Pippa be allowed to die.

She has no “no conscious awareness of her environment” or “interactions with others”, he said.

Paula Parfitt wants Pippa to be placed on a portable ventilator
Image:
Paula Parfitt wants Pippa to be placed on a portable ventilator

The judge added: “Therefore, there would be no benefit to her from being in a home bedroom as opposed to a hospital unit.

“Family members may be able to spend more time with her at home in a more peaceful and welcoming environment, but she would not be aware of their visits or of the benefit to others.”

Mr Justice Poole said Ms Parfitt, 41, from Strood in Kent, had “fought as hard for Pippa as any parent could”.

But he continued: “Responsibility for the decisions in this case lies with the court, not with her.

“My conclusion is that continued mechanical ventilation is contrary to Pippa’s best interests.”

He also said he could not “give weight to Ms Parfitt’s view that home care would improve Pippa’s condition, because it is at odds with the unanimous view of the clinicians and medical experts”.

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Victorian girl dies in cliff fall on Tasmanian coast



A young girl has died after falling 10 metres down a cliff in Tasmania’s south-east.

The girl was on holidays from Victoria with her siblings when she fell near Buckland around 2:20 Friday afternoon.

In a statement released on Friday night, Tasmania Police said “it appears the child was walking along the edge of the clifftop when she slipped and fell”.

“CPR was administered but sadly the child died at the scene.

“Her parents have now been formally informed. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones at this difficult time.”

Police said they would like to speak to anyone who was in the area around the time of the incident to “assist in preparing a report for the coroner”.

Anyone with information is urged to call Tasmania Police on 131444.

The girl’s name and age has not been released.

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Girl, 13, and two boys are charged with murder of Olly Stephens


A 13-year-old girl and two boys, aged 13 and 14 have been charged with the murder of Olly Stephens who was stabbed to death in a countryside park near his home in Reading last week. 

The teenagers have been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm following an investigation by Thames Valley Police.  

Two of the three have also been charged with perverting the course of justice. 

Olly Stephens, 13, was stabbed at Bugs Bottom field, Emmer Green, two miles north of Reading city centre in Berkshire on January 3.  

Witnesses said passers-by desperately tried to revive Olly while they waited for paramedics but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The park is only 250 yards from the home Olly shared with his sister, mother Amanda, who works in HR, and father Stuart, both aged 51.  

The three teenagers have been charged with the murder of Olly Stephens who died at a beauty spot near his family’s four-bedroom home in a leafy Berkshire suburb following an investigation by Thames Valley Police

Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Kevin Brown said: ‘This continues to be a very difficult time for the family of Olly. 

‘Our thoughts remain with them. The Stephens family appreciate all of the kindness shown to them but they have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time.

‘Anyone with any information is asked to get in touch and report it, and to refrain from posting this information on social media.’  

This week Olly’s parents, Amanda and Stewart, and older sister Emilia, mourned their ‘hilariously funny, charming and beautiful’ loved one in a moving tribute. 

They also spoke of his likely terror as he fought to get back to his home only 250 yards away and flee his alleged attackers.

A family statement said: ‘In his final moments he must have been terrified. Fighting to get home, he had everything to live for. We now have only memories.’ 

The family also thanked an off-duty doctor who battled in vain to save his life after he was stabbed to death.     

According to the Telegraph, reports have circulated on social media that a Samurai sword was used in the attack.

Thames Valley police, who are leading the investigation, said they were unable to confirm or deny the detail as their enquiries were ongoing. 

Following his death, a statement from Olly’s family read: ‘Last night we have had to face every parents’ worst nightmare. My wife, daughter and I would like to whole heartedly thank the following people.

‘A Good Samaritan that tried valiantly to save Oliver, an off duty doctor who also offered her help, all the emergency services that attended the scene at Bugs Bottom, Emmer Green who have been exemplary, the forensic team and all staff that are still on the case, and our families, neighbours, friends and colleagues who have sent their valued love and support.’  

The message continued: ‘Oliver was an enigma, having both Autism and suspected Pathological Demand Avoidance he became a challenge we never shied away from.

‘He was hilariously funny, charming and beautiful. He could get his own way with a wry smile and a cheeky grin. 

Police officers at the fields backing onto Reading Golf Club in Emmer Green, Berkshire

Police officers at the fields backing onto Reading Golf Club in Emmer Green, Berkshire

Police at the scene in Bugs Bottom fields in Emmer Green this morning after the stabbing

Police at the scene in Bugs Bottom fields in Emmer Green this morning after the stabbing

Floral tributes left outside Highdown School in Emmer Green, where Olly attended

Floral tributes left outside Highdown School in Emmer Green, where Olly attended

Floral tributes and a card left at the scene in Emmer Green after the stabbing on Sunday

Floral tributes and a card left at the scene in Emmer Green after the stabbing on Sunday

‘He always stood his ground and fought for the underdog whilst having an amazing depth of love, warmth and wit.

‘In his final moments he must have been terrified. Fighting to get home, he had everything to live for. We now have only memories.

‘An Olly sized hole has been left in our hearts. Gentle shoulder charge, love ya mate XXX.’  

This week Olly’s headteacher Rachel Cave at Highdown School said staff and students had been left ‘reeling’ by the death of the popular pupil. 

In a statement, she said: ‘For a life to be ended at such a young age is a total tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

‘Many have been deeply affected by this tragedy.’ 

Olly’s 16-year-old sister Emilia posted on Instagram: ‘I’m so sorry I failed you, I wish I could have saved you from it all. We will get justice for you my angel.’   

Matt Rodda, Labour MP for Reading East, told of his shock at the killing as he attended the scene this week.

Police survey the area as forensic tents are set up at Bugs Bottom in Emmer Green

Police survey the area as forensic tents are set up at Bugs Bottom in Emmer Green 

Police at a cordon set up adjacent to Bugs Bottom fields in Emmer Green following the murder

Police at a cordon set up adjacent to Bugs Bottom fields in Emmer Green following the murder

He said: ‘This is a very quiet area, a suburban area on the edge of town and typically on a Sunday afternoon, when the incident happened, you would have a lot of families, people walking their dogs in this country park, a well-known beauty spot which is very quiet and pleasant.’  

Meanwhile Police Federation chairman John Apter said of the incident on Twitter: ‘Horrific, so many lives will be shattered by this. Society does indeed need to take a look at itself.’

One man, who declined to give his name, said his wife was walking their dog through the park when she saw a boy on the ground with several people gathered around. 

They were trying to give him first aid and the boy’s face was ‘very white’, his wife told him. 

Thames Valley Police is continuing its investigation into this incident and has asked that anyone who believes that they have any information to contact police on 101, or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

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Teenage girl flung from ‘out of control’ dinghy at Longreach Bay on Rottnest Island


A Perth boatie says a teenage girl is lucky to be alive after being thrown from her out-of-control dinghy off Rottnest Island this morning.

John Wheeler said dozens of people anchored in Longreach Bay helplessly watched the girl swim away from the unmanned dinghy as it turned into a “out-of-control animal”.

“It could have ended tragically,” he said.

The girl managed to escape unharmed about 10am, according to Mr Wheeler.

Video captured after the teenager’s escape shows other water users trying to stop-the-out of control vessel without success.

Other boats are seen trying to stop the ‘out of control’ dingy.
Camera IconOther boats are seen trying to stop the ‘out of control’ dingy. Credit: Twitter/ Fremantle Sea Rescue

As he was packing up his own boat to head back to shore, Mr Wheeler decided to ram the boat’s motor with his own, larger vessel.

His attempt to stop it also went unsuccessful.

“I knew that wasn’t going to work, so I picked up someone else on board and then threw some ropes into the water trying to entrap the propeller,” Mr Wheeler said.

“And that is what happened in the end.”

Fremantle Sea Rescue shared a video to their Twitter page, saying the entire situation could have been avoided if “the skipper was simply wearing their safety kill cord”.

A boat spins in circles with no driver at Rottnest.
Camera IconA boat spins in circles with no driver at Rottnest. Credit: Sharon May/Sharon May

“They’re so simple to use and like putting on a seatbelt it soon becomes second nature. Please wear yours, even if it’s just a short trip,” the post read.

“The occupant of the boat was ejected from their tender earlier this afternoon which started spinning around a packed bay with swimmers and boats nearby.

“Thankfully no one was hurt and the quick thinking bystanders managed to stop the out of control boat.”

This morning’s incident comes only a month after police found the body of Ben Prior in the Swan River.

Ben Prior was doing doughnuts in his boat when he was flung off into the water, hitting the propeller.
Camera IconBen Prior was doing doughnuts in his boat when he was flung off into the water, hitting the propeller.

Police had launched an extensive land, air and patrol search after the 30-year-old uncle was “flung” off his dinghy on December 1.

Mr Prior’s friend Dan Roberts said he had been “doing doughnuts” in the vessel when he suddenly fell into the water, hitting the propeller on the way in.

Police divers discovered Mr Prior’s body submerged in the river several hundred meters from where the incident happened in Maylands two days later.

Mr Wheeler said more needed to be done surrounding water safety.

“When these thing are out of control, it looks like a wild bull,” Mr Wheeler said.

“You can’t stop it, its got a full tank of fuel and it could run for hours.”

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