Canadians John Greyson and Tarek Loubani to remain in detention in Egypt

An Egyptian prosecutor has ordered York University film Professor John Greyson and his travelling companion Dr. Tarek Loubani to spend at least another 15 days behind bars in Cairo, reported the Toronto Star and others Sept. 15. As of Sunday, Greyson and Loubani have been in custody for 30 days, according to their friend, York environmental studies Professor Justin Podur. After numerous delays, consular staff and lawyers representing Greyson and Loubani finally had two brief meetings with prosecutor Mohamed Heta over the weekend. Egyptian authorities have given no reason for the extension or ongoing detention, said Podur. Read full story.

Toronto Trump tower: Hotel-condo owner goes auction route
A local investor has decided to try to sell off his $1-million-plus hotel-condo suite in Toronto’s Trump hotel like a piece of fine jewelry or aging farm equipment – by auction….While auctions are a common method of selling real estate in countries like Australia, they tend to have a stigma in North America. “We look at auctions as a way to get rid of troubled properties,” said York University real estate Professor James McKellar in the Toronto Star Sept. 16. “For an auction to work, you have to be dealing with something like art or collectibles, where there is limited supply and high demand. That’s not the Toronto condo market.” Read full story.

Wael Shawky’s films tell epic tales on a humble scale
The killings and acts of treachery come one after another in Wael Shawky’s ongoing film cycle The Cabaret Crusades, and the locations are familiar from recent headlines: Aleppo, Damascus, Baghdad. But the mayhem in the Egyptian filmmaker’s work happened almost a thousand years ago, during the Crusades, which Shawky is recounting from an Arab point of view, with puppets. The first two films, on view at the Art Gallery of York University in Toronto, are feats of epic storytelling on a miniature scale, reported The Globe and Mail Sept. 15. Read full story.

Poetic masterpiece about mortality
Marcia Connolly, who lives in Halifax, and her filmmaking partner, York University visual arts Professor Katherine Knight (now on sabbatical in Nova Scotia), have made several films on individual Canadian artists. Spring & Arnaud, an audience Top 10 pick when it premiered at Hot Docs in May, is their first film on a married couple of artists, reported the Chronicle Herald Sept. 14. Read full story.

A$AP Rocky dropped from York University lineup
Rapper A$AP Rocky has been dropped from the lineup at an upcoming university concert in Toronto after he was accused of allegedly slapping a fan at Jay Z’s Made in America festival, reported the Toronto Sun and others Sept. 14….The 24-year-old star has yet to address the legal action, but the charge has since prompted school officials at York University to axe his scheduled show there on Wednesday, insisting, “The event cannot proceed until this matter is resolved.” Read full story.

Greece and Canada work together in education
As Greek universities struggle under austerity measures that have seen their funding cut drastically over the past few years and the loss of more than 1,500 administrative staff as part of the government’s mobility scheme, the Canadian Embassy in Athens presents a university partnership between institutions in Canada, Greece and Cyprus aimed at boosting ties in the tertiary education sector….Meanwhile, in a sign of strengthening ties between Greece and Canada, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation in 2012 established a scholarship program for Greek students to study at leading Canadian universities. To date, scholarships have been established at McGill University, the University of Ottawa and York University, reported the International Herald Tribune Sept. 13. Read full story.

Toronto condo fraud: Embezzlement, kickbacks and bid-rigging
Two condo owners in downtown Toronto became fraud detectives when they learned that the contractor their condo corporation paid $142,000 for low-flow toilets had disappeared with the cash, reported Metro Sept. 12….“Condo owners in Ontario lose millions of dollars a year, because of bid rigging and fraud.[…]I think it’s much more widespread than one would like to believe,” said retired York University sociology Professor Anne-Marie Ambert, who was recently on the expert panel of the Ministry of Consumer Service’s review of the Condominium Act. Read full story.

Speech earns praise from global leaders
President Xi Jinping brought a spirit of “pragmatism and boldness” in a cooperative way to the G20 summit when addressing the country’s domestic difficulties and global challenges, reported China Daily Sept. 7….Gregory Chin, professor of political economics at York University in Canada, who has tracked several G20 summits, said Xi brought a “new spirit of candidness and boldness” to the meeting. “Challenging world conditions are prompting the Chinese leadership to take bold, careful and calculated global measures,” said Chin, a Chinese-Canadian scholar who specializes in evolving global governance and China”s role. “I found that this new spirit of boldness continues at the G20.” Read full story.