The 2018 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games begin in less than one month and Jon Stewart confirmed he will return this year to emcee the opening ceremony on June 2, honoring hundreds of athletes, family members and caretakers participating in the Games.Free tickets to the opening ceremony event, featuring a concert by Kelly Clarkson, are now available at DoDWarriorGames.com.Now in its ninth year, the Warrior Games, held this year at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, will be free and open to the public from June 1 – 9.“It’s an honor to emcee the opening ceremony again,” said Stewart. “The Warrior Games is a truly inspirational experience for all involved, and I highly encourage families and communities to come out to support and learn from these incredible warriors. As a parent, you never know where your lessons will land. At the Games, you’ll witness resilience, integrity and maybe even the idea that you don’t have to be defined by the worst day you ever had.”Doors open for the opening ceremony at 5:00 p.m. and Grammy nominated country star Eric Paslay kicks off the all-star evening with an unforgettable performance. Tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis.“I am looking forward to performing for our wounded, ill and injured service members and their families,” Paslay said. “I can’t wait to cheer these heroes on to victory at this year’s Warrior Games in Colorado Springs.”The Warrior Games are a Paralympic-style competition for wounded, ill and injured service members. Athletes from the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Special Operations Command, in addition to athletes from the U.K. Armed Forces, Australian Defence Force and, for the first time, the Canadian Armed Forces, will compete in the Games. They will go head-to-head in 11 events: archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball and, for the first time in Warrior Games history, indoor rowing, powerlifting and time trial cycling.“The Warrior Games are a great opportunity for the American public to experience a once in a lifetime event at no cost,” said Col. Gina Oliver, director of the 2018 Warrior Games. “In one spectacular evening, those attending will honor our warrior athletes and their families in an Olympic-level opening ceremony and enjoy first class entertainment. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at Falcon Stadium on June 2 and having them return throughout the week to witness amazing people doing amazing things.”The 2018 Warrior Games are an opportunity for everyone to witness true grit and determination, while celebrating the accomplishments of wounded, injured or ill service members.Visit DoDWarriorGames.com to learn more about the Warrior Games, the athletes competing this year, volunteer opportunities and the schedule of events.The Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games were established in 2010 as a way to enhance the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, ill and injured service members and to expose them to adaptive sports. The 2018 Warrior Games will be held June 1 – 9 at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.The Warrior Games are free and open to the public. About 300 wounded, ill and injured service members representing teams from the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), United Kingdom Armed Forces, Australian Defence Force and the Canadian Armed Forces will participate in the competition. They will go head-to-head in 11 sports including archery, cycling and time trial cycling, indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, shooting, swimming, powerlifting, wheelchair basketball, track & field, engaging in friendly competition and experiencing the healing power of sports. For more information on attending, volunteering, covering or supporting the Warrior Games please visit DoDWarriorGames.com and follow the Warrior Games on Facebook.
Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsOn Thursday, the day after her last living son’s birthday, Connie Oakes—a Cree woman wrongfully convicted of a brutal murder—walked out of prison free.A Court of Queen’s Bench judge in Medicine Hat, Alta., set Oakes free after the Crown requested a stay of proceedings in her case.Oakes was initially found guilty on Nov. 15, 2013, by a Medicine Hat jury of second degree murder in the May 2011 killing of Casey Armstrong.Armstrong was found dead in the bathtub of his trailer with a puncture wound through the neck that nearly decapitated him. A size 11 bloody boot print found on the bathroom floor was never identified by police investigators.Two years after she was sentenced to life, with no chance of parole for 14 years, Oakes was facing the prospect of another drawn-out courtroom process following an Alberta Court of Appeal ruling earlier this month that quashed her initial conviction on second degree murder and ordered a new trial.Her first appearance in the new trial process was initially scheduled for May 13, but the Crown’s office suddenly called for a hearing to speak to the case Thursday.Oakes, from the Nekaneet First Nation in southern Saskatchewan, appeared before the Court of Queen’s Bench via video link. She wore glasses and a yellow T-shirt. Her Edmonton-based lawyer, Alexandra Seaman, appeared via teleconference.Oakes’ adoptive mother, her biological mother, cousin and aunt attended the hearing. There were balled up tissues in their hands. They stood by the left wall near the doorway to courtroom one so they could see Oakes on the video screen. The screen was angled toward Justice K. M. Eidsvik who presided over the hearing.Marion St. Dennis, Connie Oakes’ biological mother, wipes away tears after hearing Thursday. APTN/PhotoThe hearing lasted mere moments and featured one simple request from Crown prosecutor Orest Yerenluk, Alberta’s executive director for regional prosecutions.“The Crown is requesting a stay of proceedings in this matter,” said Yerenluk.Eidsvik didn’t take long to consider the request. She said this month’s Court of Appeal ruling on Oakes’ case was widely read by her peers.“A lot of us were reading it when it came out,” said Eidsvik.Then, she addressed Yerenluk’s decision to request the stay of proceedings on the murder charge against Oakes saying it “seems like it was the right thing to do.”Then Eidsvik turned to the screen displaying Oakes, who sat about 500 kilometres away at the Edmonton remand centre.“This long ordeal is over for you,” said Eidsvik.Oakes was free.Her charge was put in “abeyance,” said Yerenluk, in an interview, meaning it will remain in limbo until new, compelling evidence surfaces.Click here for APTN’s investigation into Connie Oakes’ caseIn a telephone interview with APTN National News from the Edmonton jail, Oakes said she wept at Eidsvik’s words.“I still can’t believe it,” said Oakes. “I had no sleep and I had no idea what to expect.”Oakes was serving her time at the federal Edmonton Institution for Women. While behind prison bars, her second oldest son Joseph Carry, 22, died from cancer. She was denied the chance to see him before he died and she was denied a trip to his funeral. Oakes’ oldest son, Jameson John, died on Halloween night in 2002.Oakes’ family also shed tears.“It is a long time that we waited for this day. We knew it was coming, but when? Today is that day. She is going to walk,” said cousin Linda Oakes.Margaret Oakes, Connie Oakes’ adoptive mother, said she knew the truth would come out.“That’s why I said, ‘The truth will come out.’ Today is the day…I felt joy, I just felt so happy,” said Margaret Oakes.She said Connie Oakes’ son, Jared, celebrated his 14th birthday the day before.“The two things he wanted was to have a special day for his birthday and to have his mom,” she said.Marion St. Dennis, Connie Oakes’ biological mother, could barely speak through her emotions.“I am just happy, happy for her to come home,” said St. Dennis, weeping. “I can’t believe it, she’s out. I’m happy, that is all I can say right now.”Margaret Oakes, Connie Oakes’ adoptive mother, smiles following the hearing in Medicine Hat, Alta., Thursday.The result of Thursday’s hearing was predicted during Oakes’ January Court of Appeal hearing before a panel of three judges. During arguments, Justice Myra Bielby questioned the Crown as to why it kept insisting the court grant Oakes a new trial if it found a miscarriage of justice occurred in the case.“Isn’t the inevitable result of a new trial acquittal? So why have it?” said Bielby.In the end, the Appeal Court split on the final ruling three months later, with Bielby and Justice J.A. Schutz concluding that “frailties in evidence” led to the wrongful conviction of Oakes. Justice Bruce McDonald penned the dissenting opinion.The frailties in evidence emanated from Oakes’ co-accused in the murder, a woman with an IQ 50 named Wendy Scott. With no murder weapon, DNA or fingerprints, Scott’s often contradictory and scattered testimony formed the sole basis for the Medicine Hat police and trial Crown’s case against Oakes. Scott also accused three other people, two men and a woman, of the murder before pinning the killing on Oakes.Scott pleaded guilty to second degree murder before Oakes’ trial and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years.Last October, the Court of Appeal struck Scott’s guilty plea and quashed her conviction after the Crown admitted there was a “serious” error in the case.This proved pivotal in undercutting the case against Oakes and played a major role in the Appeal Court’s decision handed down April 6.Wendy Scott in a Facebook photo posted in 2008.Scott is facing trial beginning Jan. 30, 2017.Yerenluk said he couldn’t comment on why the Crown decided to request a stay on Oakes’ charges while continuing with a new trial against Scott.“With that trial occurring Jan. 30 it would be inappropriate for me to comment more,” he said.Yerenluk also wouldn’t comment on the seeming uniqueness of this case where two women who were charged and convicted for the same murder both had their cases overturned and one is now walking free.Medicine Hat police also used Scott’s upcoming trial as the main reason why the force wouldn’t comment on Thursday’s outcome.“It wouldn’t be prudent for me to comment,” said Insp. Tim McGough.When pressed on whether he still had faith in the original investigation that led to murder charges against Oakes and Scott, McGough again demurred, citing Scott’s upcoming trial.Armstrong’s daughter Karli Armstrong said she was aware of Thursday’s ruling, but did not provide any comment. Armstrong also has a son named Tanner [email protected]@JorgeBarrera
For the first time ever, Delhi will witness Yakshagana performance, a theatre form that combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, makeup and stage techniques with a unique style and form, which is popular in coastal Karnataka. The night-long performance will be held on July 11 at Delhi Karnataka Sangha auditorium. The show is organised by Delhi-based South Kanara Club in association with some local organisations. Yakshagana has been traditionally performed from dusk to dawn, but recently, it was reduced to a
Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers presented ‘Pandit V G Jog Award’ to Sitar maestro Ustad Shujaat Khan on January 31, at Rabindra Sadan. The award is a tribute to the legendary violin virtuoso Padma Vibhushan Pandit V G Jog.The evening started with the inaugural orchestration session by the young 54 violin players. The programme was followed by conferring of the award to Ustad Shujaat Khan and ended with his mesmerising performance. Speaking at the occasion, Rupak Saha, Director, Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers said, “Presenting Pandit V G Jog Award to the renowned musician like Ustad Shujaat Khan for his immense contribution to the music industry is indeed an honour. Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers is known for its orientation for music and culture. We attempt to care for our heritage and tradition and make young generation aware about the same.” Ustad Shujaat Khan, the renowned artist, who was humbled to witness the love and affection of the people of Kolkata, thanked them while accepting the honour given by Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers.